White House Pushes For Better Finance Strategies For Disaster Mitigation And Resilience

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The White House Council on Environmental Quality recently held a forum on innovative insurance, mortgage, tax, and finance-based strategies.

August 08, 2016

Photo: Tom Lohdan/Creative Commons.

The Obama Administration is trying to foster more projects to support disaster mitigation and community resilience. The White House Council on Environmental Quality recently held a forum on innovative insurance, mortgage, tax, and finance-based strategies to further that goal. The National Institute of Building Sciences made a presentation based on its white paper, Developing Pre-Disaster Resilience Based on Public and Private Incentivization.

The document covers many approaches including tax credits, insurance premium reductions, resilience bonds, mortgage rate incentives, and layered incentive approaches. In addition, the paper recommends the development and adoption of appraisal and bond underwriting standards that recognize the value and benefits of building resilience.

One proposal calls for contractor-based financing, whereby a general contractor develops turnkey resilience programs for small buildings. Also recommended are building code programs that encourage local governments to adopt and enforce higher standards for resilience incentivized by federal and state investment with post-disaster recovery funding.

Another proposal calls for the expansion of federal home renovation programs that allow payment of mitigation improvements, and interest rate reductions for residential mortgages, provided through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for properties built with higher standards. 

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