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Shelter from the Storm (and Disaster Mitigation, too!)

With hurricane season brewing, and the gulf region already under obvious stress recently, the Center for Housing Policy is turning its sights to protecting homeowners vulnerable to natural disasters.

On July 15, the Center’s Research Associate Ryan Sherriff was a guest on the Heartland Institute’s FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) podcast. Ryan discussed the Center’s disaster-resistant homes toolkit, launched this May as part of NHC’s and the Center’s Housing Solutions Week. The toolkit highlights the technologies, community strategies and financing tools to help households and communities protect homes from natural disasters, like hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. In particular, it focuses on how state and local governments can support lower income families, who often face greater barriers to making their homes resistant to natural disasters.

Ryan also discussed some related topics that came up during a panel discussion he moderated at the Texas Risk Mitigation Leadership Forum in Austin last month. The Forum was sponsored by RenaissanceRe and WeatherPredict Consulting, the two organizations who funded the development of the disaster-resistant homes toolkit. The panel discussed, among other items, Texas-specific disaster mitigation issues related to affordable housing and building codes, and the state’s coordination with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on both pre-disaster mitigation and disaster recovery efforts.

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