Report: Flooding has Devastating Effects on Affordable Housing

Hoboken, New Jersey, Man standing on the flooded street is talking to someone left in the building, ambulance car in the background.

Hoboken, New Jersey, Man standing on the flooded street is talking to someone left in the building, ambulance car in the background.

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

People of color, seniors and the disabled are most at risk of flooding's financial and health risks, according to academic research on coastal areas in the U.S.

Flooding and rising sea levels are leaving residents in coastal towns and cities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, according to research published by academic scientists in Environmental Research Letters. 

The study indicates people who are on the lower socioeconomic scale and live in affordable housing are more likely to experience the devastation caused by flooding, which can disrupt utilities, damage belongings, contaminate water and generate mold. 

According to the report, the general population of people living in these affordable housing units tends to be seniors, people of color and the disabled. In addition, people of color (81.2%) reside in affordable housing located in cities that are most vulnerable to flooding. 

The 20 cities with the most at-risk affordable housing units are exposed to flooding at least four times a year, the report says. Revere, Massachusetts, and Crisfield, Maryland, are highlighted because they have relatively little affordable housing, but have 90% of the units exposed to climate-related hazards and flooding. 

Furthermore, the 20 cities most affected by flooding and other effects of climate change are in some of the poorest regions, with an average median annual household income of $28,618 -- about half the national median income. 

The study suggests this is the first nationwide assessment of present and future risks of coastal flooding to affordable housing in America. The project used sea-level rise, annual flood probabilities and data on general and affordable housing stock in coastal cities to assess risks.

Researchers indicate that by 2050, several states will have affordable housing units at risk of coastal flooding at least four times per year. New Jersey is most exposed to this danger, with nearly half of its housing units in probable flooding areas. 

Hurricane Sandy especially caused major flooding and damage to affordable housing apartments in the New York City area. Hurricane Sandy caused an estimated $70.2 billion in damage, hitting low-income residents particularly hard. About 43% of the 500,000-plus households in New York and New Jersey that asked for federal aid after the 2012 storm reported annual incomes of under $30,000.

The northeastern corridor and California account for roughly 70% of the United States’ aggregated expected flood exposure, according to the research. 

According to the Urban Institute summary, the study suggests resilience measures, coordinated flood protection, sustainability strategies and public-private partnership programs be implemented to help reduce flood exposure risk. Also, the increased building of resilient affordable housing will further put residents at risk in the future. 

To review more detailed information on the research click here.

Brent Woodie is an associate editor at Route Fifty.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
Orlando Protects Citizens During Heavy Rain Events by Optimizing Water Data Intelligence
Orlando, FL, USA
Integrating Complete and Green Streets for Climate-Resilient Sustainable Streets
San Mateo County, CA, USA
Pacifica launches online portal for equitable access to ADU resources and affordable housing needs
Pacifica, CA, USA

NEXT STORY: Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Targets Lead Pipes that Threaten Public Health Across the US

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.