In 1999, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) launched its $1 billion Plan for Transformation in an ambitious effort to improve housing and neighborhood conditions in the city’s most distressed public housing developments... Read More
Five months after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the state on October 29, 2012, my colleagues and I toured hard-hit communities in Ocean County, New Jersey. We started in Toms River and made our way north to Monmouth Beach before turning south to Seaside Heights, site of the iconic, now destroyed, JetStar roller coaster. Although multiple eastern seaboard states experienced Sandy’s massive storm surge, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut bore the brunt of the storm’s wrath. In all, HUD estimates that 190,000 primary residences were damaged, 119,000 seriously so, in addition to thousands of second homes.
Planned for and pre-paid recovery. A community that plans and prioritizes its recovery efforts and coordinates recovery decisions with its residents has a better chance of facilitating a cohesive, forward-looking recovery. To promote speedy, well-planned recovery efforts, HUD created a mapping tool in January 2013 identifying the most severely damaged neighborhoods. The first line of defense for long-term recovery is adequate insurance, which dramatically expedites recovery. HUD analysis shows that 65 percent of the owner-occupied units seriously damaged from Hurricane Sandy carried some insurance for the type of damage incurred (mostly flooding). By the end of April 2013, the National Flood Insurance Program had paid claims totaling $7.1 billion; the Insurance Information Institute estimates that private insurers will pay out an additional $15.9 billion in New York and New Jersey.
Safety Net. Other critical components of a disaster recovery safety net are U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for homes and businesses and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recovery assistance.
In 2007, two years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast, thousands of households remained in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) temporary housing or received FEMA rental assistance. To provide continuing aid to these households, HUD created the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP-Katrina).
Orange County, Florida is using targeted investments to transform Pine Hills, a neighborhood that has experienced crime, declining property values, and vacancies, into a vibrant community. Coordinated stabilization efforts began in 2001, when the county designated Pine Hills a “safe neighborhood” and initiated crime prevention and beautification programs.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University recently completed a review and assessment of the theory and practice of planning for urban poverty alleviation and slum development in developing countries.
Individual Development Accounts(IDAs) emerged in the United States in the 1990s as an asset-building strategy. Although IDA programs vary in design, they all provide matching funds to low-income recipients to promote savings that can be spent later on eligible uses such as higher education, microenterprise, and homeownership.
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