Bee Branch Healthy Homes Resiliency Program 


Grant Program Concluded in 2022

Many residents in the Bee Branch Watershed have experienced repeated flash flooding from stormwater during heavy rain events, including six Presidential Disaster Declarations since 1999. As a result, they are living with residual structural issues, electrical hazards, and chronic mold and mildew problems.

The Bee Branch Healthy Homes Resiliency Program included $8.4 million awarded to properties where low- to moderate-income residents reside in the form of forgivable loans to make repairs and implement onsite stormwater management principles to decrease environmental health and safety issues from flooding.

Over 300 Housing Units Now More Resilient

From October 2016 - June 2022, over 300 housing units in the Bee Branch Watershed were made more resilient including 114 single-family units, 23 duplexes, four quadplexes, three six-unit complexes, three seven-unit complexes, two twelve-unit complexes, two nineteen-unit complexes, and one thirty-unit complex. 

The most common improvements included:

  • Gutters, windows, and lead paint remediation - $982,000
  • Tuck-pointing and waterproofing - $742,000
  • Exterior concrete work - $713,000
  • Interior drains and sump pumps - $695,000
  • Ventilation, floors, and walls - $657,000
  • Roofing repairs - $623,000
  • Furnaces and water heaters - $576,000
  • Electrical, sewer, and plumbing - $296,000
  • Radon, mold, and safety improvement - $136,000
concrete before and after web
before after exterior door web 2

Home Advocacy Support

In addition to home repairs and improvements, BBHH participants had the opportunity to receive home advocacy support. This included a comprehensive assessment to identify health, economic, education, social, and built environment needs and assistance creating a household resiliency plan. Home advocates then connected participants with community resources to meet their needs and goals. A total of 307 families received some level of advocacy support through the BBHH Program.

Examples of positive home advocacy outcomes include connecting a participant with a higher education institution to complete a massage therapy certificate, helping a participant create a payment plan with a local utility company to get caught up on energy bills which also allowed for extra monthly income to be used for other family needs, assisting a participant who frequently traveled to and from Iowa City for medical treatment successfully apply for mileage reimbursement, and providing formula and cleaning supplies to a mother of four.

Needs Identified During Assessments

  • Health Needs - 231
    Health needs include health and dental insurance, health and dental providers, medical equipment, mental illness, blood lead levels, pest control, and nutrition.

  • Economic Needs - 119
    Economic needs include unemployment, underemployment, financial education, utility bill payments, and childcare costs.

  • Education Needs - 48
    Education needs include skills gaps, certifications, parent education, absenteeism, individual education programs (IEPs) for K-12 students, and school supplies.

  • Social Needs - 159
    Social needs include childcare, youth activities, food, legal assistance, transportation, clothing, housing, counseling, and lack of social support.

  • Built Environment Needs - 306
    Built environment needs include home maintenance, weatherization, co2/smoke alarms, and lead hazards 


In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the City of Dubuque $31.5 million in disaster resiliency funds for the Bee Branch Healthy Homes Resiliency Program and stormwater infrastructure improvements including the Bee Branch Creek Railroad Culverts and West Locust Street and Kaufmann Avenue storm sewer projects. The City of Dubuque partnered with the State of Iowa to apply for the federal funds through the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), which invited communities that experienced natural disasters in 2011, 2012, or 2013 to compete for funds to help them rebuild and increase their resilience to future disasters.

HUD Logo Web

Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA)

Through the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA), Iowans will work together to address factors that contribute to floods and nutrient flows. This adaptive model, supported by HUD dollars through the NDRC, will leverage the principles of Iowa’s innovative Nutrient Reduction Strategy to make our communities more resilient to flooding and help improve water quality. The Bee Branch Watershed is one of nine distinct watersheds across Iowa serving as project sites for the IWA.