Advancing Equity in Disaster Recovery

In this new Governing article, Civix federal grants and community planning experts Adrienne Duncan and Nathan Cataline draw on their real-world experience to provide guidance for operationalizing new federal equity goals into disaster recovery programs. 

They say this “adds another layer to the already complex tasks of disaster recovery grant administration, program design, and implementation. Grantees must take steps to meet new requirements without additional administrative funding or staff capacity. However, the new requirements will lead to more equitable programs and more resilient communities.” 

These experienced Civix disaster recovery experts suggest that HUD’s equity goals challenge grantees to approach disaster recovery differently.  

“The traditional model looked at what was impacted by a disaster and what it would take to replace the damage. Now, grantees must also consider who was impacted and how they will be affected by the recovery. Even before the new federal equity priorities, grantees analyzed the demographics and assessed vulnerabilities of the impacted communities, but HUD now requires that information to be reflected in disaster recovery program design and implementation,” they write.  

“HUD’s equity goals require grantees to rethink not only how programs are designed, but also how grantees rank, score, and prioritize projects in a manner that centers equity. These requirements mean that existing recovery programs should be re-evaluated using an equity lens wherever they are in the planning and implementation process. With a wide array of HUD-funded disaster recovery programs and grantees at different phases of their recovery, making equity a priority for disaster recovery programs is possible at any phase of grant implementation.” 

Read the full article here: