Building Resilient Futures

Our Vision: Sustainable, resilient affordable housing is the norm and communities are equipped to withstand and recover from disasters

Natural disasters are occurring more frequently and intensely – with multi-billion-dollar consequences. And day to day, temperatures are more extreme and sea levels are rising. These impacts of climate change put millions of households at risk of uninhabitable conditions, exacerbating the vulnerabilities of lower income communities and communities of color.

Due to its age, physical condition and maintenance needs, most of the country’s existing affordable housing cannot withstand our changing climate. At the same time, the systems designed to support affordable housing and its residents – from policy to financing to insurance to federal recovery programs – inadequately address today’s needs, compounding the challenges faced by owners and investors.

How We're Making an Impact

Educate and Motivate:

  • Establish Regional Residential Resilience Academies tailored to specific risks, such as flooding, heat and wildfires, offering training designed to improve the resilience of affordable homes to future threats, as well as incorporating strategies for improving community resilience.
     
  • Assemble Beneficial Electrification Convenings offered to housing providers committed to adopting best practices in emissions reduction across their portfolio.
     
  • Provide Business Continuity Plan training and support through the Ready to Respond toolkit, with a goal of reducing disruption to building operations and minimizing the impact on residents in the event of a disaster.

Assess, Adapt and Mitigate:

  • Deploy Ready to Respond, Keep Safe and other multifamily building assessment tools to provide technical guidance to housing providers to identify vulnerabilities and opportunities for mitigation in their portfolio.
  • Establish $50 million Affordable Housing Resiliency Mitigation Fund to provide recoverable grants, technical assistance and capacity building to housing providers to help housing withstand future disasters.
     
  • Launch the First 20, a peer network of early adopters of the 2020 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria to share learnings, provide individualized technical assistance, and showcase best practices in healthy, sustainable, resilient affordable housing design and operations.

Accelerate Recovery and Rebuilding:

  • Create $100 million Disaster Recovery Accelerator Fund to demonstrate how the private sector, Community Development Financial Institutions and the public sector shorten the time between when a disaster hits and when multifamily property owners can rebuild impacted housing.
     
  • Support and evaluate the effectiveness of Innovative Post-Disaster Housing Models through technical assistance, grants, policy advocacy and program evaluation.
     
  • Drive Systems Level Changes by reforming and streamlining federal disaster recovery policy, collaborate with state and local governments to modernize building codes and incorporate resilience as criteria for public subsidy and establish the first National Multifamily Resilience Advisory Council in the U.S.

How We're Leading on Climate Resilience in Affordable Housing

  • We have a 15-year track record of helping developers assess risk and adapt buildings so they can withstand threats from natural hazards and our changing climate.
  • We bring our full platform of capital, policy expertise and technical knowledge to support communities vulnerable to disasters and climate risks.
  • Our tools help developers assess risk and adapt buildings so they can withstand threats from natural hazards and our changing climate.
  • Our strategies were developed in response to multiple disasters and are informed by residents, housing providers, public officials, and other experts.

Our Work in Action

Our post-Katrina redevelopment of public housing in New Orleans created Faubourg-Lafitte, a healthy community with connections to opportunities. In 2016, its residents faced the ultimate test of their new homes as heavy rainfall and municipal drain malfunctions left the area waist-deep in water. Because we designed and developed the homes to be elevated thinking ahead to future flood risk the water didn’t breach the first floor, keeping residents and their belongings safe and preventing temporary displacement.
Keep Safe Miamideveloped by Enterprise and the City of Miami, equips affordable housing owners and operators with tools to assess their buildings’ resilience to climate change and natural disasters and provides them with actionable strategies and guidance on financing to address these vulnerabilities. Residents also receive training on disaster preparedness, increasing their energy efficiency and saving on utility costs. The City of Miami is providing complementary grants for the adoption of these strategies in at-risk affordable housing.
Using Enterprise’s Ready to Respond Toolkit Strategies for Multifamily Building Resilience, Jonathan Rose Companies assessed resilience strategies across its national portfolio of more than 80 properties across 18 states and various climate zones. The top three hazards identified were flooding, winter storms and extreme heat. For individual properties, they created an internal risk report and then applied tailored strategies, such as adding cement barriers to block off the mechanical room from flooding, installing backwater valves, maintaining backup power to critical systems, and providing residents access to potable water.

 
Since 2004, we've helped reduce barriers that prevent widespread adoption of green building practices in affordable housing through Enterprise Green Communities. Today, more than half of U.S. states require that affordable housing developments receiving public funds comply with our Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. Our newest program updates include a Path to Zero Energy, water quality standards and a new approach to affordable housing in rural areas. Using lessons from this comprehensive approach, we will continue to tackle systemic barriers for resilience.

 

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