City: New York Country / US State / US Territory: New York Type of Solution: City Government Program Climate Impact: Seal Level Rise; Hurricanes and Storm Surge; Extreme Precipitation and Flooding Social Value Created: Affordable and Safe Housing; Social Justice and Equity for Vulnerable Communities; Public Health and Safety
The Built It Back Program was started after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. The Program provided homeowners, landlords, and tenants in low- and middle-income neighborhoods affected by the storm with funds sustainably rebuild homes. The goal of the program is to help vulnerable communities rebuild their homes and be better prepared for future hurricanes.
Homes must be rebuilt above Base Flood Elevation level and must be certified by Enterprise Green Communities, a certification for sustainable and energy efficient buildings, to improve communities’ resilience to flooding and Sea Level Rise. In addition to assistance in reconstructing homes, the Program funded legal counseling and temporary housing for residents affected.
The Program received 20,000 applications, and 16,000 completed the initial eligibility review. As of June 2018, the program has helped 12,500 households through reimbursement checks, construction starts, and acquisitions
City: Chicago Country / US State / US Territory: Illinois Type of Solution: Buildings and Housing Climate Impact: Extreme Precipitation and Flooding Social Value Created: Affordable and Safe Housing; Social Justice and Equity for Vulnerable Communities; Public Health and Safety; Water Security and Quality Funding: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery
The RainReacy Flood Residential Flood Assistance Program (RFAP) partnered with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development from 2015-2016 to assist low and middle income homeowners affected by the 2013 storm with repairs and retrofits. The 2013 storm was a 10-year storm that resulted in extensive damages of many homes. The program helps promote social justice and equity for vulnerable populations.
RFAP participants were provided with home assessments and construction work for free, including treating mold, removing lead and other hazardous materials, repairing flooding damage, and installing flood mitigation measures, contributing to public health and safety. Some of these flood mitigation measures included foundation waterproofing, rain barrel installation, and green infrastructure such as rain gardens and permeable pavers.
The program assisted 70 individuals that had requested flood relief, and most homes were located in neighborhoods with at least 30% of households with income below the federal poverty line. Homes were eligible to receive up to $50,000 in assistance. Additionally, the city will provide inspections for installations every five years, and residents were required to commit to staying in the home for at least two years.
Supported by the National Science Foundation under award number SES-1444755. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.