The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Rockefeller Foundation have launched a $1 billion initiative to build resilience in communities that have been struck by natural disasters.
The federally funded National Disaster Resilience Competition will be open to eligible communities in forty-eight states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., that experienced Presidentially Declared Major Disasters at any point between 2011 and 2013, as well as seventeen local governments that have received funding under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. Designed to promote risk assessment and planning, the competition will fund the implementation of efforts designed to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme events while improving the quality of life for their residents. Goals of the competition include creating models of disaster recovery that apply science-based and forward-looking risk analysis to recovery, resilience, and revitalization needs, and institutionalizing the implementation of thoughtful, sound, and resilient approaches to assessing future risks.
To that end, HUD will partner with the foundation to help communities better understand the innovation, commitment, and multi-faceted approach required to build a more resilient future. As it did with HUD's Rebuild by Design competition in June 2014, the foundation will provide targeted technical assistance to eligible communities and support a stakeholder-driven process informed by the best available data to identify recovery needs and innovative solutions. Phase 1 applications will be due in March 2015; successful Phase 1 applicants will be invited to participate in an intensive design phase; and final grants will be announced in late 2015.
"The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to spurring innovation in resilience planning and design so that communities can build better, more resilient futures, particularly for their most vulnerable citizens," said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. "Building resilience will minimize the impact of the next shock, while also improving life in communities day-to-day, allowing them to yield a resilience dividend. Everyone wins."