Localized Commercial Effects from Natural Disasters: The Case of Hurricane Sandy and New York City
This paper considers the localized economic impacts of an extreme event, Hurricane Sandy, on a dense and diverse economy, New York City. It isolates establishments that are more dependent on local customers--retail establishments--to test whether or not they are more vulnerable to hurricane-induced flooding than other entities with geographically dispersed consumer bases. The paper exploits variation in micro-scale exposure to pre-storm risk and post-storm inundation to identify the impact of storm-induced flooding on establishment survival, employment and sales revenues. Results indicate that the neighborhood economic losses from Sandy were significant, persistent, and concentrated among retail businesses that tend to serve a more localized consumer base.
Population and Housing in the Floodplain Battered by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma
In conjunction with the launch of FloodzoneData.us, the NYU Furman Center released a series of data briefs to illustrate the housing and population located in the U.S. floodplains. The third brief in the series, Population and Housing in the Floodplain Battered by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, describes the housing and population located in the floodplains of metropolitan areas affected by hurricanes in recent months, including Houston, Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville. The analysis describes the housing stock (including tenure, size, and number of subsidized housing units) and population demographics (including poverty rates, households with children and seniors, and race/ethnicity) in floodplains within these metro areas.
Population in the U.S. Floodplains
In conjunction with the launch of FloodzoneData.us, the NYU Furman Center released a series of data briefs to illustrate the housing and population located in the U.S. floodplains. The second brief in the series, Population in the U.S. Floodplains, explores the characteristics of the population located in the 100-year floodplain and the combined floodplain (100-year and 500-year floodplain), nationwide. In 2015, more than 30 million people (10% of the U.S. population) lived in the combined floodplain.
Housing in the U.S. Floodplains
This brief, presented in conjuction with FloodzoneData.us describes characteristics about the housing stock located in the U.S. floodplains. Between 2011 and 2015, five percent of all occupied housing units in the United States were located in the 100-year floodplain, and 10 percent were located in combined (100- and 500-year) floodplains. The brief details factors that are important to understand when assessing the risk from flooding and the challenges of retrofitting, including the shares that are rental and owner-occupied, the age of the housing, and whether the housing is government subsidized.
Planning For An Uncertain Future: Can Multi-Criteria Analysis Support Better Decision-Making In Climate Planning?
This paper by Ingrid Gould Ellen, Jessica Yager, Melinda Hanson, and Luke Bo'sher, published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research, examines how multicriteria analysis (MCA), a decision-making tool, compares to other commonly used tools for making decisions about climate-change planning. The authors find that MCA has the potential to perform better than cost benefit analysis and working group approaches in supporting decision making processes that are more participatory, transparent, comprehensive, rigorous, and scenario-driven (five principles of effective planning). The paper also explores the ways in which MCA might fall short of these principles in practice, including when planners have limited resources.
Low hanging fruit? Energy Efficiency and the Split Incentive in Subsidized Multifamily Housing
This paper explores whether and how the rules governing utility billing arrangements of subsidized housing programs impact energy consumption and exacerbate market failures that create incentives for both tenants and owners to be indifferent about their consumption levels. We test whether these incentives or dis-incentives result in higher energy consumption in subsidized properties than in comparable non-subsidized properties.The analysis focuses on three subsidized housing portfolios: Public Housing, Project-based Section 8, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). Using several multivariate regression models, we find that subsidized properties are associated with higher utility consumption than market-rate properties and, of the subsidized housing programs, Public Housing tends to consume the most energy.
Planning for Resilience: The Challenge of Floodproofing Multifamily Housing
Three years after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of New York City, the housing stock in many urban coastal areas remains vulnerable to flooding. Much of the housing stock in these high-risk areas is out of compliance with federal flood-resistant design and construction standards.The report illustrates the significant design and financial hurdles of retrofitting multifamily housing common to many urban, coastal areas, describes existing policies and design approaches and their shortfalls, and provides recommendations for state and local practitioners to improve resilience of multi-family housing in their communities.
Utility Allowances in Federally Subsidized Multifamily Housing
This paper provides an analysis of the statutes, regulations, and guidance that govern the treatment of utility costs in the four largest federal subsidized housing programs—Public Housing, Project-Based Section 8, Housing Choice Vouchers, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits—and the incentives these rules create for the consumption of utilities. It finds that many of these programs are structured such that tenants and owners are either indifferent about utility costs or are rewarded for overconsumption. This paper makes several recommendation for how these programs can be restructured to incentivize lower utility consumption, which can reduce the environmental footprint of subsidized housing, improve the financial viability of existing subsidized properties, and free resources that can be repurposed for other HUD goals.
Density and Disaster: New Models of Disaster Recovery for Housing in High-Density Cities
JAPA Disaster Planning Special Issue Planning Note
Responding to Changing Households: Regulatory Challenges for Micro-Units and Accessory Dwelling Units
In many areas of the country, the existing stock of rental housing falls significantly short of the need, both in terms of affordability and the sizes and configurations of available housing matching the needs of prospective tenants. In response to these and other concerns, a number of jurisdictions have revised their regulations to permit the development of more compact rental housing units, including both accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and micro-units.This paper provides a detailed analysis of the regulatory and other challenges to developing both ADUs and micro-units, focusing on five cities: New York; Washington, D.C.; Austin; Denver; and Seattle. This research was conducted as part of the What Works Collaborative. For more, see the accompanying research brief, Compact Units: Demand and Challenges; download a zip file with city-level data; or view the press release.