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FEMA and HUD Partnership Enhances State Planning for Housing Recovery, Builds Resilience

Today, FEMA in partnership with the U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development (HUD), published the Pre-Disaster Housing Planning Initiative Report to promote collaborative approaches to disaster housing recovery challenges and to bolster state planning for housing recovery before disasters occur.  

This joint effort helps build local capacity and ensures states, Tribal Nations and territories adopt a proactive approach to housing recovery. A first-of-its-kind partnership between FEMA, HUD and states, the initiative was created to address these issues during blue sky days to help ensure individuals, families and communities can recover effectively from disasters. This type of planning also helps states move from short-term sheltering programs to more sustainable housing solutions.

“One of the most heartbreaking consequences of disasters is when an individual’s home is damaged or destroyed, leaving individuals concerned about where their family is going to live,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Securing post-disaster housing is a major challenge for communities as they begin recovery. FEMA and HUD are partnering together to help communities identify and understand housing gaps before disasters strike to be better positioned to face these challenges head on and help survivors jumpstart their recovery.”

Key findings in the report include the importance of identifying and addressing housing recovery challenges in a non-disaster environment, the benefit of information sharing among states and the value in tailoring federal support and resources to the unique needs and challenges of each state. Due to the success of this partnership, both agencies are working toward initiating a second cohort with new state partners.

“I’ve traveled throughout the country to witness the aftermath of natural disasters and the devastating impact on communities, including my hometown,” said HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman. “This partnership with FEMA is important to ensure that when another disaster strikes, recovery can occur quickly and people receive the help they need.”

Disasters tend to exacerbate existing housing challenges like limited housing stock, rising rents and increased costs to vulnerable populations. Planning around existing housing shortfalls before disasters can help communities recover more quickly during emergencies and ensure more resilient outcomes.

In addition to the report, a Pre-Disaster Housing Planning Checklist and Guide, as well as a Federal Housing and Sheltering Resource Timeline and Compendium were developed during the initiative and are available for states, Tribal Nations and territories to begin maturing their pre-disaster housing strategies.