Analysis: Neglecting Public Housing Leaves Families Vulnerable to the Effects of Climate Change

Date Published: 
February 23rd, 2023

New analysis from the Urban Institute highlights the risk that families in neglected public housing units face from climate change. The majority of public housing residents are people of color, older adults, or people with disabilities, and generations of disinvestment have displaced public housing properties to isolated neighborhoods with few opportunities or resources.

These residents face the greatest risk from the impacts of climate change. In some areas, up to 17% of public housing units are located in the 100- or 500-year floodplain. Federal regulations do not currently mandate all public housing properties to provide air conditioning. Public housing residents are also at disproportionate risk of exposure to air pollution.

With residents of public housing more likely to suffer the impact of climate change due to general lack of resources, efforts are underway to mitigate these risks. The article highlights efforts to address these risks in New York City at NYCHA, in Seattle at the Seattle Housing Authority, and in Boston.  

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