The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program: Collaborative Investments to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Strengthen Disadvantaged Communities

Across the state, a diverse range of stakeholders – including affordable housing developers, transit agencies, local governments, and community members – are preparing to engage in the third application round of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program. The highly-competitive application process for affordable housing and transit infrastructure funding is expected to begin this fall. However, the motions to establish the program that we know today actually began over a decade ago when the State of California took steps to address climate change.

Finding Land Solutions to Climate Displacement: A Challenge Like Few Others

Climate displacement - a phenomenon expected to eventually affect hundreds of millions of people - by its very nature implies that people and communities can no longer reside in their traditional homes and that they will require new living arrangements to replace their former homes and lands. This much is clear. What is less clear, however, is where these people will go, who is responsible for them and what policies should be pursued to give climate displaced people the best chance to start life over in the most dignified manner possible.

National Disaster Housing Strategy

The National Disaster Housing Strategy (the Strategy) serves two purposes. First, it describes how we as a Nation currently provide housing to those affected by disasters. It summarizes, for the first time in a single document, the many sheltering and housing efforts we have in the United States and the broad array of organizations that are involved in managing these programs. The Strategy also outlines the key principles and policies that guide the disaster housing process.

Flash Flooding: Impact of Community Participation and Planning on Recovery

Ellicott City is an unincorporated town in Howard County, Maryland. Founded in 1772 at the bottom of a valley by Johan and Joseph Ellicott, specifically to harness the power of the Tiber and Patapsco Rivers to power the brothers’ mills, the terrain of the city includes steep inclines and an abundance of nonporous granite. The town has been prone to flooding since its founding, with most previous floods originating from the Patapsco River at the bottom of the valley and spreading into the city.

Incorporating Resiliency into D.C. Affordable Housing: A Strategy Map

As an affordable housing stakeholder, use this map to increase the likelihood that your redevelopment projects consider resilience. With the key below, identify stages of a typical redevelopment process when resiliency assessments, and resiliency related retrofits, are recommended, so that you can plan these into your own project cycles. The map focuses heavily on preservation and redevelopment but can also be applied to new construction.

Pre‐Disaster Planning for Post‐Disaster Recovery: Case Studies

In coordination with a consultant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the University of Oregon’s Community Planning Workshop (CPW) researched four post‐disaster recovery plans (PDRPs) developed by select communities in the United States. The purpose of this research was to find innovative post‐disaster plans that incorporate effective strategies for recovery with the intent of evaluating strategies for providing credit for such efforts as part of the Community Rating System (CRS). The case studies focus on communities at risk for flooding.

A Snapshot of Global Adaptation Investment and Tracking Methods

The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events and chronic climate-related changes are increasing, globally. With these changes, there is a pressing and clear need for communities worldwide to invest in adapting to climate change. According to the UN Environment Programme, in developing countries alone, adapting to climate change will require USD 280 billion to USD 500 billion per year by 2050 (UNEP 2016).

Climate Change and Displacement in U.S. Communities

Climate change is playing a bigger role in determining where and how we live, and is limiting access to and availability of affordable healthy housing, healthy food choices, transportation choices, and social networks, which is forcing displacement of individuals and communities. Displacement—whether temporary or permanent, forced or voluntary—is an issue rooted in inequity and exacerbated by climate change.

Southface Institute promotes sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance. Over the years, the organization has been a leader throughout the southeast United States in sustainability. Southface strives for a more sustainable future by educating the population and the market on resilient, resource conscious lifestyles, researching cutting-edge technologies, advocating for clean forms of energy and working directly on projects to improve building efficiency and reduce the overall carbon footprint of the built environment.

Position: Research Associate