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FACT SHEET: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is Investing in Building Climate Resilient Communities Amidst More Frequent and More Intense Climate-related Disasters

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is leading efforts to further the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to invest in climate change resilience. HUD is taking action to ensure equitable access to climate-related disaster recovery resources for communities in need.

In response to the nation’s climate crisis, HUD has increased its resilience measures, invested in building resilient communities, and supported communities recovering from disasters. HUD continues to develop new, robust initiatives and actions to help communities rebuild and recover from extreme weather events. The agency is leading efforts in grant program building standards to ensure taxpayer dollars are used for climate-informed investments.

As HUD works to implement preparedness, response and recovery efforts, the agency has:

  • Improved disaster recovery efforts to better serve communities who face the direct impacts of weather-related disasters: Based on the increasing number of disasters and the increasingly important role that HUD plays in the federal government’s preparedness, response, and recovery efforts, the Department established a new Office of Disaster Management within the Office of the Deputy Secretary and an Office of Disaster Recovery within the Office of Community Planning and Development. HUD also, for the first time, through two Requests for Information (RFIs), asked the public for feedback on how to simplify, modernize, and more equitably distribute critical disaster recovery funds -- Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) and Mitigation (CDBG-MIT).
  • Provided $6.7 billion in disaster assistance through Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery: To help states and local communities recover from disasters that occurred in 2021 and 2022, HUD has allocated $6.7 billion in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to help them build back resiliently.
  • Developed practical, flexible technical guidance to improve housing resilience: In May 2023, HUD published Designing for Natural Hazards: A Resilience Guide for Builders and Developers, a series of practical guides for builders and developers to design and construct residential buildings that are resilient to major categories of natural hazards. The resilience guides provide technical content in a straightforward way that is easy for a layperson to understand, while also providing references through which design professionals, builders, developers, and public officials can obtain full details. These guides build upon HUD’s robust library of technical assistance resources, toolkits and implementation guides on disaster recovery, climate resilience and adaptation. They also complement HUD’s deep technical assistance work and partnerships with local leaders in communities to improve housing resilience. Efforts like HUD’s Climate Communities Initiative (CCI) provides a variety of resources and assistance to selected entitlement communities over an 18-month period to advance long-term climate resilience and environmental justice.
  • Increased climate resiliency through proposed code and standards updates: HUD issued for public comment a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Rule that proposes for adoption a forward-looking standard that considers future flood risk, increasing the Nation’s resilience to flooding, reducing the risk of flood loss, minimizing the impact of floods on households across the country, and protecting federal investments against future risk and increased harm. The proposed changes adopt climate-informed science and would impact properties funded or insured by HUD.
  • Funded investments in climate resilience: HUD’s Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP), funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, is the first HUD program to prioritize both energy efficiency and climate resilience. Applications from qualified Multifamily Rental Assisted properties are evaluated based on a combined energy and climate risk score, ensuring properties at highest risk are priorities for wholistic evaluation and investment.

HUD has increased the resources and flexibility disaster-stricken communities need to respond quickly and recover equitably by:

  • Creating new flexibility through waivers: HUD acted quickly after the worst disasters to provide maximum flexibility to recipients of our annual funds to make changes as their priorities for the dollars shift.
  • Assisting impacted communities with technical assistance and capacity building support: In the wake of the devastating wildfires in Maui, Hawaii. HUD coordinated technical assistance with state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires. HUD provided homeowners and renters with HUD-Certified Housing Counselor assistance, helping with immediate housing needs and long-term recovery.
  • Supporting people who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness pre-disaster: Responding to the surge in shelter needs that could be exacerbated by a disaster, HUD created a first-of-its kind funding programs, awarding $1.3 million to the State of Hawaii following the Maui fires and $6.8 million to the State of Florida and seven of the State’s localities. This funding assists communities in addressing homelessness and helps ensure that most people experiencing homelessness are not forgotten.

HUD has taken action to help communities move forward:

  • Louisiana reached an agreement to free 3,000 Louisianans from Road Home Program repayment obligations: Through a corrective action with HUD, Louisiana agreed to forego legal actions and free 3,300 homeowners of their Road Home Program-related debt obligations. Through the agreement, Louisiana will not require repayments from impacted homeowners providing financial freedom from Road Home-related debt, affording repairs, and empowering property resale without liens or payment plans.