Protecting Affordable Homes from Climate Change
By Laurie Schoeman, Sr. Program Director and Sara Haas, Director, Enterprise Community Partners
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, seven of Atlanta’s 10 hottest years have taken place in the past decade. In fact, 2019 was the warmest year since tracking began in the 1870s. The escalating heat, elevated levels of rainfall and violent storms are causing more damage to housing and community infrastructure each year. In 2020 alone, disasters across the nation caused nearly $95 billion in damage, mostly in vulnerable and marginalized communities.
While heat may be one of the most extreme consequences of climate change in Atlanta, the entire U.S. is seeing increased devastation from wildfires, tornados, droughts, and hurricanes. That means millions of affordable homes—which are often not build to withstand extreme conditions—are at risk.
Frontline communities are often hit first and hardest by natural disasters and are slowest to recover.
Alongside the Biden administration’s commitment to promoting equity and building climate resilient communities, Enterprise is stepping forward to help housing owners and communities meet the challenge of a changing climate.
Climate Resilience Academies
To help developers, owners and operators of multifamily affordable housing mitigate the risks that climate change poses to portfolios, properties and residents, we are launching the Climate Resilience Academies. The new education initiative begins this month, with the first Academy focused on supporting organizations in Georgia and Florida.
Participants in the Academy will have the opportunity to engage with one another, content experts and local stakeholders to address the unique hazards of their region. Together, participants will identify critical vulnerabilities, take advantage of solutions and technical assistance to improve portfolio resilience to future threats, and incorporate community resilience strategies. Topics will include:
- Build your Emergency and Business Continuity Plan
- Assessing portfolio risk
- Building and retrofitting new and existing housing
- Understanding federal assistance programs and how to access them
- Incorporating community engagement and cultural resilience strategies
Register here for the first free training session, taking place September 30th at 1 PM ET. This session will launch our academy and include an overview of Southeast regional climate hazards, share regional case studies, and equip participants with strategies for assessing climate risk.
To learn more here about Enterprise’s resilience resources and tools, which help affordable housing organizations of all sizes develop the resilience needed to adapt to future emergencies, check out our Building Resilient Futures mitigation resources and tools.