Resources on Adaptation Financing

This tab includes resources on adaptation financing.  Resources can be filtered by impact, sector, and region of the country.

 

 

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Seattle Public Utilities - Utility Discount Program

2020

In recent years, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), which is the city’s water utility and provides drinking water and wastewater treatment, has strongly emphasized community engagement and equity issues through the creation of a variety of organizations and programs. One organization, Connect Capital, which is comprised of SPU staff and members of a community foundation and a community organization, advises SPU on how to ensure that the benefits of future  investments are equitable and address climate threats to those at risk of displacement. One result of Connect Capital’s encouragement is SPU’s investment in infrastructure in frontline communities, such as the South Park Neighborhood. Another equitable initiative under SPU is the Utility Discount Program, under which seniors, persons with disabilities, and low-income customers receive a reduction in their water and electricity bills. Households with incomes at or below 70% of state median income pay only 50% of their SPU bill. Further still, SPU’s Environmental Justice and Service Equity Division aims to promote inclusive community engagement and collaboration.

Related Organizations: Seattle Public Utilities

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Norfolk Special Service District Policy for Flood Protection

June 11, 2019

In June 2019, the Norfolk City Council adopted a policy authorizing the creation of Special Service Districts (SSD) to support implementation of local flood risk reduction and water quality improvement projects in the City of Norfolk, Virginia. SSDs enable a group of residents to agree to pay a tax to finance additional services in a particular neighborhood. The Norfolk policy allows SSD funding to be used to pay for flood mitigation, dredging, water quality improvements, and coastal protection projects.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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The Kresge Foundation Equitable Guidelines for Opportunity Zone Investment

March 2019

The Opportunity Zones (OZ) program, created by the federal Opportunity Act as a part of the 2017 Tax Act, delegates to the U.S. Treasury the authority to set requirements for investment under the act’s tax credit system. The Kresge Foundation, seeing that Treasury requirements were first delayed and ultimately bare, set out to create its own set of guidelines. Kresge provides capitalization to projects in OZs to attract investment, and through covenants with its partners attempts to ensure that such investments are based in a framework of equity.  Within a specific OZ, these covenants include stringent reporting requirements, the creation of a community advisory board explicitly containing members of the OZ’s community, and active promotion of OZ programs to OZ residents. Additionally, Kresge set out minimum standards for both real estate and business investments. Covenants for real estate investments include specifics such as: adopting an “anti-displacement” strategy for all housing investments, shifting focus to projects that create jobs for low-income communities, and mandating that at least 50% of all multifamily housing investments serve residents with incomes under 120% of the OZ’s average median income. For business investments, covenants include requirements that at least 50% of investments create living-wage jobs, and prohibitions on investments in industries that could be harmful to disadvantaged communities and typically create environmental justice issues. (e.g. oil, mining, firearms). 

Related Organizations: The Kresge Foundation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Chicago Participatory Budgeting Project and Rulebook

In 2009, the Chicago 49th Ward Alderman, Joe Moore launched the first participatory budgeting process in the United States in the City of Chicago, Illinois. When participatory budgeting was first introduced in the City, Alderman Moore used the process to engage with his constituents regarding how the community would spend its $1.3 million in discretionary capital funds. Since this initial introduction, the participatory budgeting process in Chicago has proved a rousing success. In 2012, the Great Cities Institute partnered with the Participatory Budgeting Project and community-leaders from the area to launch PB Chicago to spread the budgeting process throughout the city. PB Chicago has now engaged with over 13,000 residents in 12 different communities, allocating over $18 million in funding to community-chosen projects varying from tree planting to establishing bike lanes. By focusing a majority of their outreach on marginalized and underserved communities, PB Chicago ensures not only that policymakers and city officials hear these residents’ voices, but that these same voices have the opportunity to effectuate change within their own communities as well. 

Related Organizations: City of Chicago, Illinois, PB Chicago

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Financing Climate Resilience: Mobilizing Resources and Incentives to Protect Boston from Climate Risks

April 2018

Financing Climate Resilience was developed by the University of Massachusetts Sustainable Solutions Lab to help the City of Boston identify proactive strategies for financing investments in flood protection and other climate-related risks. The report details the scale of the climate resilience investments needed to reduce climate risks in Boston, estimating that between $1 and $2. 4 billion in investment will be needed in the medium-term to protect the City from climate change impacts. The report examines a range of financing mechanisms that the City could use including bonds, taxes, resilience fees (e.

Related Organizations: University of Massachusetts, Boston, Boston Green Ribbon Commission

Authors or Affiliated Users: David Levy, Rebecca Herst

Resource Category: Funding

 

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California AB 733 - Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts for Climate Adaptation

October 11, 2017

The California legislature passed AB 733 specifically authorizing the creation of enhanced infrastructure financing districts for climate change adaptation projects, and the legislation was signed into law by Governor Brown on October 11, 2017.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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A Guide for Public-Sector Resilience Bond Sponsorship

September 2017

With this guidance, re.Focus aims to support the alignment of public-sector disaster risk reduction measures with private insurance through the use of Resilience Bonds. The report highlights several reasons why governments at all levels and public interest entities (like water and electric utilities, ports, and transit systems) should consider Resilience Bonds as part of a broad strategy to build both physical and financial resilience - and illustrates how to do so.

Related Organizations: re:focus partners

Authors or Affiliated Users: Shalini Vajjhala, James Rhodes

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Hampshire Coastal Resilience Incentive Zone Program for Municipalities

September 3, 2017

In 2017, New Hampshire passed a new law, New Hampshire Revised Statutes § 79-E:4-a, that enables municipalities to create a tax incentive program to encourage resiliency in coastal areas. Municipalities can establish “Coastal Resilience Incentive Zones” (CRIZ) in their jurisdictions to grant property owners tax relief for undertaking “resilience measures” for qualified properties or structures identified as impacted by storm surge, sea-level rise, or extreme precipitation projections.

Related Organizations: State of New Hampshire

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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New York City Participatory Budgeting and Rulebook

2011

In 2011, four New York City Council Members partnered with several community-based organizations and launched a Participatory Budgeting process to allow residents to vote to allocate a portion of the council’s capital discretionary funds. The Participatory Budgeting New York City (PBNYC) process involved the city allocating funds to finance physical infrastructure projects, such as schools, parks, and public housing that benefit the public, that cost at least $50,000 and have a lifespan of at least five years. Residents were able to visit the website to review eligible projects and then submit an idea for consideration. The process gave residents the opportunity to vote during a nine-day Vote week for the city’s fiscal budget and implemented by city agencies. PBNYC is one of the largest and the fastest-growing participatory budgeting process in the United States which also ensures that low-income people and people of color can participate in the process. Currently, the majority of participants, around 57%, are identified as people of color. 

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Chester, Pennsylvania Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan and Community-Based Public-Private Partnership

June 2017

The City of Chester, Pennsylvania introduced the Chester City Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan in 2017 as a means of addressing consistent stormwater pollution and overflow into the Delaware River, Chester Creek, and Ridley Creek watersheds. Chester’s combined sewer overflow (CSO) system often is overwhelmed during high rain and runoff events, which leads to increased flooding and water pollution and degradation of the river basin. The plan details Chester’s specific infrastructure needs, as well as the environmental and social benefits of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). It also analyzes common GSI techniques including rain gardens, green roofs, stormwater planters, and porous pavements, and includes their typical cost. The plan then lists 20 potential sites within the City for GSI projects, guidance for first steps, suggestions for effective community engagement, and potential sources of both public and private funding. To fund the GSI projects, the City formed a community-based public-private partnership (CBP3), which is a different approach to financing stormwater management that expands on the traditional public-private partnership model by incorporating considerations of a community’s economic development needs. Coupled with its focus on green infrastructure as a primary means of stormwater management, this structure promotes not only improvements in water quality but in the community’s overall quality of life. The plan will also address equity through hiring local contractors for the infrastructure projects, training local workers to maintain projects, and creating new maintenance jobs for community members.

Related Organizations: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Pennsylvania Sea Grant, City of Chester, Pennsylvania

Resource Category: Planning

 

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