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Post-Disaster Community Investments in Lumberton Through the North Carolina State Acquisition and Relocation Fund for Buyout Relocation Assistance

2020

Lumberton, North Carolina provides one example of how state funding for relocation assistance can help support local buyouts and community investments in underserved areas. In 2016, the small community of Lumberton was devastated by Hurricane Matthew when the Lumber River flooded over 870 households, as well as a number of businesses. As the city was beginning to recover, only two years later, Lumberton was hit a second time by Hurricane Florence, resulting in damage to over 500 structures. As of 2019, Lumberton is seeking to leverage several grants and funding programs, including North Carolina’s State Acquisition and Relocation Fund (SARF), to rebuild the community and provide residents with relocation assistance to obtain new homes in Lumberton through a state-local partnership. Specifically, with funding from SARF, the local government is considering opportunities to invest in new homes in one existing, but underserved neighborhood of Lumberton that can offer safer homes for bought-out residents. As SARF and the ongoing work in Lumberton demonstrate, state and local governments can support voluntary, post-disaster transitions of people and minimize negative impacts to individuals, communities, and local tax bases from buyouts by reinvesting in underserved areas within their municipalities. 

Related Organizations: City of Lumberton, North Carolina, State of North Carolina

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Resilient Boston: An Equitable and Connected City

July 13, 2017

The Resilient Boston plan focuses on racial equity, social cohesion and resilience strategies for Boston, Massachusetts. The report outlines visions, goals and actions that support climate change adaptation measures and solutions targeting the most vulnerable residents in the city. Resilient Boston is part of the city’s participation in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative. 

Related Organizations: City of Boston, Massachusetts, 100 Resilient Cities

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Lessons from the Storm: Climate Displacement Three Years After Hurricane Sandy

October 28, 2015

This report by the Center for American Progress assesses the recovery of New York’s and New Jersey’s middle- and low-income communities three years after Hurricane Sandy devastated the region in 2012. The report analyzes the challenges encountered by state and city leaders to help reduce displacement of people in the days and years following the storm, as well as innovative policies that emerged to prevent future extreme weather and climate displacement. The Center also highlights the important role that community groups play as citizen first responders, liaisons to government officials, and in long-term housing and recovery efforts.

Related Organizations: Center for American Progress

Authors or Affiliated Users: Danielle Baussan, Miranda Peterson

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Cleveland, Ohio Climate Action Plan - 2018 Update

September 21, 2018

The Cleveland Climate Action Plan (CAP) addresses the need to build climate change resilience while prioritizing social and racial equity and the development of “green jobs.” The CAP was developed through twelve workshops held throughout the city, and the majority (54%) of the 300 attendees were people of color. The CAP is supported by a 90 member Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC) that includes membership from a number of environmental and community based organizations. A subset of the CAAC developed a Racial Equity Tool that was used to review each action item under consideration for the plan. The CAP aims to reduce flooding, increase water supply, and improve water quality by promoting green spaces that reduce runoff and combined sewer overflows (CSOs). This plan has resulted in improved water efficiency and the amount of wastewater overflow in the city decreasing from 5 billion gallons per day (Bgal/d) in 2011 to 4.1 Bgal/d in 2015.

Related Organizations: City of Cleveland, Office of Sustainability

Resource Category: Planning

 

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City of Miami, Florida Resolution on Climate Gentrification

November 5, 2018

On November 5, 2018, Mayor Suarez of Miami signed a Resolution directing city staff to research the effects of “climate gentrification” on low-income communities that are inland at higher elevations, and to explore ways to stabilize property taxes to reduce displacement. The City of Miami, Florida is seeing high rates of sea-level rise and increasing incidence of nuisance flooding in low-lying areas. As a result, higher elevation areas of the city, which house many of Miami’s lower and moderate income communities, are seeing greater development pressures, which is affecting property values and taxes.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Anticipated Vulnerabilities: Displacement and Migration in the Age of Climate Change

September 2019

When Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in September of 2017, thousands of its inhabitants were forced to flee their homes - many of whom ended up in in the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts. Between 2017 and 2018, over 5,400 people moved from Puerto Rico to Holyoke. In the years that followed, the city and partners at Hunter College and the University of Connecticut surveyed these families, intending to learn what aspects worked in response to their displacement and resettlement. Officials also hoped to assess how other cities could duplicate the incorporation of Puerto Rican climate migrants into Holyoke as more frequent climate events displace additional communities in the coming years.

Related Organizations: City of Holyoke, Massachusetts, Hunter College, University of Connecticut, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Maryland Park Equity Mapper

2019

The Maryland Park Equity Mapper combines layers of demographic and environmental data in order to determine the park equity of different census tracts in Maryland, allowing users to visualize disparities in park access and quality across the state. The tool was developed by the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH) Laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Public Health in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) and University of Maryland Center for Geospatial Information Science (CGIS). This tool can be used by residents and policymakers in order to identify underserved communities that are in need of new park infrastructure and green space.

Related Organizations: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, University of Maryland

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Maryland Environmental Justice Screen Tool (MD EJSCREEN)

January 2019

The Maryland Environmental Justice Screen Tool (MD EJSCREEN) assesses environmental justice risks among census tracts in the state of Maryland. Developed by the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health Laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, this tool combines the average pollution burden of a community with the average population demographic characteristics to produce an Environmental Justice (EJ) score. Stakeholders advocacy resulted in the inclusion of six indicators of EJ risk specific to Maryland: asthma, emergency room discharges, percent non-White, proximity to treatment, storage and disposal facilities, myocardial infarction discharges, low birth weight infants, and particulate matter. Through this tool, Maryland residents can be better informed of disparities in EJ risk among different communities and their associated health impacts.

 

Related Organizations: University of Maryland

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Tehama, California Elevating Homes

The City of Tehama, California is working to protect vulnerable residents from flooding through elevation of their homes. Tehama is adjacent to the Sacramento River in the northern Central Valley and has endured several floods over the years. As climate change is anticipated to increase the potential for flooding in this area, residents are at a greater risk of losing their homes to flooding. Many of the residents are unable to pay for the cost of elevating their homes, prompting the city to patch together non-municipal funding sources to substantially reduce residents’ costs. The majority of the cost was covered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) through Section 205 of the Flood Control Act of 1948, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board. The remaining 10% of the cost could be covered by funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) program for low income residents. 

Related Organizations: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), City of Tehama, California

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tiered Assistance Program

2017

The City of Philadelphia created the Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) in 2017 in order to address water affordability for low income communities. In Philadelphia, water affordability is an issue that affects a large number of families - between April 2012 and January 2018, 40% of households either had unpaid bills or some other sort of water debt. To address this issue, the Philadelphia Water Department implemented TAP, a program that allows customers to pay water bills at a percent of their income - this payment is capped at 3%. Through this program’s fixed rates, Philadelphians who are struggling to pay their water bill can budget more accurately and access more affordable water, which is predicted to result in increased payment rates and reduced water debts.

Related Organizations: City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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