Housing

HOUSING

Nearly 40 percent of Americans live close to a coastline, and with the accelerating pace of single weather disasters causing damages of at least $1 billion, the implications for housing are obvious.

comprehensive report by the Center for American Progress on the impact of extreme weather on affordable housing cites Hurricane Harvey’s damage, in 2017, to almost 200,000 houses across Texas, and just one month later, Hurricane Maria’s destruction of more than 70,000 houses in Puerto Rico, an event that left 60 percent of a single town’s residents homeless.

According to NASA, the wildfire season has lengthened across one-quarter of the world’s vegetated surface, becoming nearly a year-round hazard in California. Massive fires have now burned in Alaska and Siberia, and thousands of houses were destroyed in Australia’s massive wildfires of 2019-2020. A hotter, dryer world will obviously pose greater risk to the destruction of housing by fire.

As with its impacts over all, climate change will disproportionately hurt the poor. The United States has a shortage of 7 million affordable and available rental units for extremely low-income renters, and affordable housing tends to be built in areas vulnerable to sea level rise and lacking adequate infrastructure to shield them from flooding. A National Public Radio investigation concluded that minorities and poorer Americans receive less in federal disaster aid than white and more affluent citizens.

Even now, though, Americans remain divided as to whether or not climate change is even real, and that impacts real estate in more ways than simply where and how to build. A 2019 study by the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business found that the cost of real estate can depend not on future sea level rise, but rather the belief in it. 10% to 12 percent of houses in Florida could be under water by 2100, but those in an area where climate change denialism is strong sell for approximately 7 percent more than where it is acknowledged.

Another Center for American Progress report urges the federal government to support adaptation and mitigation strategies including more resilient infrastructure. Congress, the authors write, should strengthen federal building requirements and increase funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency so that flood maps can be updated. At the same time, of course, the federal government could act to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, with the goal of achieving 100 percent of energy needs from renewable sources.

How Climate Change Is Gentrifying Miami Housing | This New World

CREDIT: HUFFPOST

CURRENT NEWS

Why people don’t have to pay anything for electricity in this Florida community

By Nicolas Rivero 01/06/24
In this Florida development, no one pays an electricity bill. It’s not because of subsidies, but by design: All of the 86 homes built or planned in Hunters Point, a residential development about an hour…
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HUD takes on climate crisis with a new retrofit program

By Siri Chilukuri 05/31/23
A new government program aims to tackle climate change upgrades in federal public rental housing units that most desperately need the help.
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Affordable Housing Is Infrastructure

By Dr. Sabrina Johnson and Mikyla Reta 05/30/23
The federal government is currently pumping billions of dollars into our nation’s infrastructure, from improving roads and bridges to incentivizing a clean energy revolution. In fact, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) invests $1.2 trillion in…
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Smart Money Podcast: The Cost of Climate Change: Protect Your Home From Disaster

By Sean Pyles, Caitlin Constantine  and Tess Vigeland  05/12/23
Few people enjoy thinking about home and renters insurance — it’s admittedly not the most riveting subject. But climate change has upended the calculus involved with protecting our home and belongings from natural disasters, and…
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Smart Housing Policy Is a Climate Strategy for Colorado

By Alana Miller 03/22/23
How we build our neighborhoods impacts nearly every element of our lives: the length of our commute and how easily we can get to a grocery store; how our kids go to school, and if…
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Is Climate Change Coming for Your Home?

By Jason Mark 03/15/23
The statistic is almost beyond belief: Last year, an estimated 3.3 million American adults were displaced due to natural disasters, according to the US Census Bureau. Wildfires, floods, tornadoes, and, above all, hurricanes drove more…
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Why it’s time for the housing industry to get serious about climate risk

By Jay Kingsley, Pete Carroll and Russell McIntyre 03/01/23
For decades, the housing industry has viewed climate risk as a fairly straightforward issue. You build the home to code. You use the right comps to appraise it. You check the 100-year floodplain determination box…
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A climate change housing bubble is on the horizon

02/17/23
Although climate change risks are well known, they are often unaccounted for in property values. New research shows that when flood risks are taken into account, property prices are overvalued by as much as $237…
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US Housing Market Overvalued by $200 Billion Due to Unpriced Climate Risks

By Jesse Gourevitch and Carolyn Kousky 02/16/23
A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change examines the potential cost of unrealized flood risk in the American real estate market, finding that flood zone property prices are overvalued by US$121–US$237 billion.…
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Unpriced climate risk and the potential consequences of overvaluation

By Jesse D. Gourevitch and others 02/16/23
Climate change impacts threaten the stability of the US housing market. In response to growing concerns that increasing costs of flooding are not fully captured in property values, we quantify the magnitude of unpriced flood…
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Flood Bubble: How Housing Markets Underestimate Climate Change

By Yanjun (Penny) Liao and Matt Fleck 02/16/23
Late last September, Hurricane Ian struck the west coast of Florida. Surges from the Gulf of Mexico and heavy rainfall contributed to widespread flooding; according to one estimate, the National Flood Insurance Program could lose…
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Where U.S. house prices may be most overvalued as climate change worsens

By Brady Dennis 02/16/23
The nation’s real estate market has yet to fully account for the increasing threats to millions of homes from rising seas, stronger storms and torrential downpours, according to new research published Thursday.
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KEY RESOURCES

Designing for Climate Change

04/22/20
As climate change brings powerful storms like Hurricane Harvey with increased frequency and intensity, housing developers are increasingly interested in disaster resilience, which considers issues related to both design and land use. Along with disasters…

A successful climate plan must also tackle the housing crisis

04/22/20
Of course, the centrist climate wonks hate how expansive the Green New Deal idea is. They think every piece of its social policy is an expensive distraction. But they forgot to follow the carbon beyond their…

Can the Housing Market Be Resilient in the Face of Climate Change?

04/22/20
Storm after storm, homeowners and businesses pour money into repairing their property, only to be devastated in the next disaster. JCHS reports that “flooding and wind from Hurricane Florence alone damaged some 700,000 residential and…

Adapting to Climate Change: Cities and the Urban Poor

04/22/20
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized and more poor people move to urban areas, the challenges of climate change are exacerbated. Approximately 51 percent of the world’s population currently lives in cities, and an estimated…

MORE NEWS

How climate change could impact home buying plans in 2023

By Paul Centopani   01/09/23  
If it feels like natural disasters are becoming more extreme and frequent, it’s because they are. Climate change has raised the earth’s average temperature faster than at any point in history, causing intensified weather events…
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A climate reckoning for US housing: Too many homes in harm’s way, ‘too many zeros’ in the costs

By Kyle Bagenstose   11/05/22  
More than a month has passed since Hurricane Ian struck the country, killing at least 119 and potentially causing more than $100 billion in damages. Many survivors are now facing a gut-wrenching question.
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Housing in Alaska can’t survive climate change. This group is trying a new model.

By Casey Quackenbush   09/24/21  
Francis Waskey’s house used to stand four feet above ground on wooden stilts. Now, the mud underneath it has swallowed them whole. As the posts sank over the years into the thawing, carbon-rich frozen soil…
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Is Your Home Value At Risk From Climate Change? Recent Research Finds A Link

By Simon Moore   08/30/21  
People like to live in coastal areas, in fact about 4 in 10 Americans do. However, if sea levels rise over time, as scientists generally expect, what will that mean for house prices? Unfortunately, this…
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Editorial: Wildfires shouldn’t be used to force high-density housing

06/24/21  
A new University of California Berkeley Center for Community Innovation study raises important questions about California’s wildfire policies, but its solutions would be disastrous. The report chastens the state for encouraging homeowners and cities to…
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The wealthy are hoarding livable homes as climate change makes land uninhabitable

By Angely Mercado   06/23/21  
To the science-minded person, it can be comforting to divide humanity into sane, rational climate change believers (like themselves) and dangerously deluded climate change deniers. Unfortunately, as psychologists who study climate anxiety are wont to…
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How homeowners of color are threatened by climate change — and climate policy

By Naveena Sadasivam   06/23/21  
When Hurricane Harvey struck Texas in August 2017, it dumped 27 trillion gallons of rain on the greater Houston region, sumberging about a quarter of the metropolitan area. To this day, it remains the wettest…
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What’s The Best Way To Help The Climate And People, Too? Home Improvement

By Dan Charles   06/22/21  
Workmen have invaded Flora Dillard's house on the east side of Cleveland. There's plastic over everything and no place to sit, but Dillard doesn't seem to mind. "A couple of days of inconvenience is nothing,…
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This Louisiana neighborhood is retreating in the face of climate change

By Alexandria Herr   06/03/21  
In early May, President Joe Biden stood in front of the 70-year old Calcasieu River Bridge in Lake Charles, Louisiana. With the aging bridge in the background, he spoke about the hurricanes that have battered…
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Go green on new housing

By Dana Bourland   05/26/21  
Two of the biggest problems we face today — a shortage of decent, affordable housing and climate change — are connected. Fortunately, the solutions are connected as well. That’s why we must not only “build…
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Recovery For All of Us: New York City Adopts new Zoning Rules to Protect Coastal Areas From Climate Change

05/12/21  
NEW YORK—Following a City Council vote, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that a major package of zoning rules will now help to protect homes and businesses in New York City’s vast floodplain from climate…
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Climate change increases renters’ risks

By Sarah Wesseler   05/10/21  
In 2000, almost 8,000 affordable housing units in the United States were at risk from annual coastal flooding. By 2050, this number could rise to 24,518, according to a recent analysis by Climate Central.
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The Climate Real Estate Bubble: Is the U.S. on the Verge of Another Financial Crisis?

By Justin Worland   04/19/21  
1171 Shoreham looks much like it did when Anna Zimmerman lived there: modest but presentable. A good starter home for Zimmerman and her husband when they bought it in 2005, for a while it provided…
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Are We On the Verge of Another Financial Crisis?

By Eben Harrel   12/18/20  
You’ve been warning for years that America’s housing market has been ignoring the risk of perils associated with climate change. Do you believe we are approaching a correction?
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Rising seas: California’s affordable housing faces worse floods

By Julie Cart   12/07/20  
For low-income Americans, the number of homes at risk of flooding could triple by 2050, researchers say. Three Bay Area cities are among the top at-risk communities.
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Inside the climate battle quietly raging about US homes

By Emily Holden   10/10/20  
Away from the headlines, there’s an important fight happening that is pitting real estate developers and utilities against efforts to make America’s new homes more climate friendly
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Climate Change Floods North Carolina’s Housing Market

By Jodi Helmer   10/06/20  
The communities along the North Carolina coast are among the prettiest places in the state, but their seaside serenity comes with great risk. As climate change brings higher seas and churns up fiercer and more…
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“How long before my home goes underwater?”

By John Englander   09/21/20  
“Do I have 20 or 30 years before my property floods?” is a typical question I get at least once a week. The other day it was someone about a property in Ochlockee Bay, marked…
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3 Years After Hurricane Harvey, Many Houston Homeowners Don’t Know Who’s At Risk Next

By Sophie Kasakove   07/05/20  
Doris Brown’s walls used to be covered in photos of graduations and weddings, memorabilia not only of her life but of her eight siblings, who all grew up in her house in northeast Houston. She…
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Rising Seas Threaten an American Institution: The 30-Year Mortgage

By Christopher Flavelle   06/19/20  
Up and down the coastline, rising seas and climate change are transforming a fixture of American homeownership that dates back generations: the classic 30-year mortgage.
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Borrowed time: Climate change threatens U.S. mortgage market

By Zack Colman   06/08/20  
“Where catastrophe happens and physical climate really manifests itself, the public tab will end up carrying this,” said Ivan Frishberg, vice president for sustainability banking with Amalgamated Bank. “Everyone is exposed in this. I’ve had…
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20 Million People Have Fled Their Homes Because Of ‘Climate Chaos’ Since 2008: Oxfam

12/02/19  
Fiercer weather and worsening wildfires drove more than 20 million people from their homes over the last decade ― a problem set to worsen unless leaders act swiftly to head off surging climate threats, anti-poverty…
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Going under: Long wait times for post-flood buyouts leave homeowners underwater

By Anna Weber and Rob Moore   11/18/19  
By the end of this century, as many as 13 million people in the United States will see their homes affected by sea level rise. Millions more who live, work, or travel through coastal or…
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Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez unveil ‘Green New Deal For Public Housing’ bill

By Amanda Mills   11/14/19  
“The Green New Deal for Public Housing would transition the entire public housing stock of the United States, as swiftly and seamlessly as possible, into zero-carbon, highly energy-efficient developments that produce on-site renewable energy, expand…
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Darwin Called it. Deniers Pay more for Climate-Endangered Real Estate

11/13/19  
Anthropocene Magazine: Want to buy a house by the sea? If your neighbors are climate deniers, you’ll pay a premium, according to a new study. The analysis focuses on houses that are likely to be…
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Sinking suburban ‘home’ drifts down Thames in watery climate protest

By Matthew Green   11/10/19  
A floating mock-up of a typical British suburban home was seen slowly sinking into the Thames in central London on Sunday in a protest organized by Extinction Rebellion to demand politicians fighting a Dec. 12…
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Climate change will break the housing market, says David Burt, who predicted the 2008 financial crisis

By Rachel Koning Beals   11/09/19  
Risk to the housing market from underestimated climate change echoes lessons from the 2008 subprime-mortgage debacle — as does the chance to capitalize on these miscalculations.
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A ‘Big Short’ Investor’s New Bet: Climate Change Will Bust the Housing Market

By Geoff Dembicki   11/01/19  
David Burt was one of the few who predicted the 2008 financial crisis. He's gambling that history is going to repeat itself soon.
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Homes Burn in San Bernardino as California Battles Wildfires

By The New York Times   10/31/19  
A new blaze known as the Hillside fire forced residents to flee as strong winds drove the flames.
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Kincade Fire’s wrath: Wineries, homes burn as flames race for Healdsburg, Windsor

By Kurtis Alexander, Peter Fimrite and Others.   10/28/19  
Firefighters face setback on containment as Kincade Fire devour 84 square miles, dozens of homes and send 180,000 people fleeing from their homes. ...
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FEMA bought 40,000 flood-prone homes. They may have to buy millions more.

By Eric Roston   10/11/19  
As the climate crisis worsens, more Americans will be forced from their homes. Many won’t be able to afford it, and the U.S. isn’t prepared for a massive, government-subsidized migration away from flood-prone areas, according…
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When Climate Change Leads to Mortgage Defaults

By Matthew E. Kahn and Amine Ouazad   10/03/19  
Simple steps to make sure lenders and homebuyers — not taxpayers — bear the risk.
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Citing climate risk, investors bet against mortgage market

By Kate Duguid   09/29/19  
NEW YORK (Reuters) - David Burt helped two of the protagonists of Michael Lewis’ book The Big Short bet against the U.S. mortgage market in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Now he’s betting…
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Climate Risk in the Housing Market Has Echoes of Subprime Crisis, Study Finds

By Christopher Flavelle   09/27/19  
Banks are shielding themselves from climate change at taxpayers’ expense by shifting riskier mortgages — such as those in coastal areas — off their books and over to the federal government, new research suggests.
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These big plans to protect California homes from wildfire fell short in the legislature

By Lauren Sommer   09/26/19  
After 86 people in the town of Paradise lost their lives in a massive wildfire last year, California lawmakers vowed to prepare the state for future infernos. But while millions of dollars are going toward…
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The Homes in Dorian’s Path Are in a High-Risk Area. Why Do They Cost So Much?

By Arlie Russell Hochschild   09/04/19  
THE GEOGRAPHY OF RISK - Epic Storms, Rising Seas, and the Cost of America’s Coasts
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Pro Bono Legal Team Helps Farmers and Homeowners Fight for Renewable Energy

By Anuradha Varanasi   08/22/19  
New York City’s Green New Deal grabbed headlines in April with its ambitious $14 billion plan to slash greenhouse emissions by 30 percent during the course of the next decade. One of the bills that…
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Poll: Iowans on Board With Climate Action as Impacts Hit Home

08/12/19  
A new poll out today finds Iowa voters have deep concerns about the impact of climate change and support policies to reduce fossil fuel emissions and expand renewable energy generation in their state. The poll…
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Massachusetts bills aim to promote efficient appliances, net-zero housing

By Sarah Shemkus   07/12/19  
The pending legislation includes proposals to encourage heat pumps and to bring energy efficiency to low-income residents.
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The mortgage industry isn’t ready for a foreclosure crisis created by climate change

By Diana Olick   01/17/19  
A foreclosure crisis spurred by climate change is becoming a real threat to the mortgage industry as extreme storms and other natural disasters increasingly occur in places where borrowers might not have flood or fire…
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The House That Survived Hurricane Michael Reminds Us What Climate Change Will Cost

By Brian Kahn   10/17/18  
In the sea of destruction that is Mexico Beach, the Sand Palace stands out like an oasis. Hurricane Michael’s wind and waves pitched lesser domiciles off their moorings, tore roofs away, or simply obliterated them. But as numerous news…
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Snowbirds beware: Hurricanes could speed Florida’s real estate reckoning

By Christopher Flavelle   01/03/17  
Ross Hancock sold his four-bedroom house in Coral Gables, a city of pastel luxury at the edge of Miami, because he was worried that sea-level rise would eventually hurt his property’s value. He and his…
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California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes

By Ivan Penn   05/09/18  
The state mandate, to take effect in 2020, is the first in the country and is expected to add $8,000 to $12,000 to the cost of a house.
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How Cities Can Improve Homes

By Sneha Ayyagari   10/22/19  
While reducing energy use in residential buildings plays a key role in meeting these goals, historically, this has been a hard sector to tackle. Residential buildings are decentralized, which makes it difficult to implement programs…
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