Greauxing Resilience at Home — City of Houston, Texas: Resilient Houston and Affordable Housing and Nature-Based Efforts

Houston has been battered by six federally declared flooding disasters in five years, including the record-setting Hurricane Harvey in 2017. A significant amount of Houston’s existing development is located in vulnerable floodplains. These land use patterns, combined with recurrent disasters, have served as the impetus for Houston to undertake several related efforts to increase local resilience. 

The city has thus begun to plan to increase its resilience against future storms. In 2018, the city responded by adding structural elevation requirements in the 500-year floodplain and increasing them for the 100-year floodplain. In addition, the city developed the Resilient Houston plan. If implemented, the proposed recommendations in Resilient Houston will promote affordable housing with access to job centers, improve community resilience through green space preservation, and enhance stormwater management through the promotion of green stormwater infrastructure. Other local governments facing similar threats from disaster events and pressures to develop in floodplains could evaluate and consider adopting some of Houston’s planning and land-use actions. 

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This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond. These case studies describe best and emerging practices, tools, and examples from Louisiana and other U.S. jurisdictions to make progress on the complex and interrelated challenges of housing, flooding, and resilience. These case studies are intended to provide transferable lessons and ideas for regional and local governments addressing housing and mitigating flood risk as integrated parts of comprehensive community resilience strategies. Collectively, these case studies present a suite, although not an exhaustive list of tools and approaches that can be used to facilitate any of these efforts.

For additional case studies and more information about this work, also see Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Regional Vision.

Publication Date: June 16, 2022

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