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Affordable Housing Flood Risk Is Expected to Triple by 2050

Climate
Affordable Housing Flood Risk Is Expected to Triple by 2050
Kids play on a flooded Arizona Avenue on October 4, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images

The threat to affordable housing from flooding driven by climate change will likely triple in the next 30 years, new research shows.


The study, from Climate Central and the National Housing Trust and published in Environmental Research Letters, examined risk posed not just by extreme events like hurricanes, but also at the increasingly common threat of "sunny-day" flooding caused by sea level rise.

The threats driven by the climate crisis exacerbate the underlying affordable housing crisis — the study identified communities in which up to ninety percent of affordable housing is being put at risk.

The U.S. already lacks sufficient affordable housing, and "low-income renters typically have very few alternative housing options if a disaster damages their homes," Andrew Aurand, VP of research at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told Thomson Reuters.

"When affordable rental housing is significantly damaged, the private market provides little incentive to repair or rebuild that housing to keep it affordable," he added.

For a deeper dive:

Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Verge, Bloomberg, NJ Spotlight, E&E; Interactive Map: Climate Central; Climate Signals background: Coastal flooding increase, Sea level rise

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