What it's about:
Donald Trump's administration has made an unexpected proposal to Congress for a $12-billion nationwide competition to increase resilience to future flood and hurricane disasters.
According to the White House request, the $12 billion would be provided to states through competitive grants. To be eligible, states would need to have had "more than one flood-related major disaster in the last four years”.
Using data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a U.S. environmental advocacy group, has calculated that 13 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands would meet the Trump administration’s criteria for seeking a portion of the $12 billion to enhance resilience to flooding.
According to the White House’s request, the funds will be used to support a mix of solutions to address areas at high risk of flooding, such as improving building codes, developing green infrastructure and buyouts of flood-prone properties.
Why it's noteworthy:
The resilience funding, if approved by Congress, would flow through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
In the last five years HUD has run two innovative resilience competitions. The first, Rebuild By Design, was done in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, with $930 million awarded to nine projects in New York and New Jersey. It was such a success that HUD initiated the National Disaster Resilience Competition, which awarded nearly $1 billion to 13 states and communities.
Both competitions involved The Rockefeller Foundation and emphasised creative approaches to enhance resilience to natural disasters.
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