Full Session with Abstracts
Post-disaster housing recovery is a complex and unequal process that takes between weeks to years for different households. Reasons behind these differences in recovery time remain largely unexplored. In November 2016 and January 2018, field studies were conducted in Lumberton, North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew by researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the NIST-funded Center of Excellence on Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning. One goal of the field studies was to collect the necessary data to build housing recovery models that integrate physical, economic, and social measures of disaster impact and recovery. The household-level data collected included information on initial damage level of the home, repair progress, availability and timing of various types of financial recovery resources (insurance, federal grants, SBA and private loans, and non-profit support), dislocation time, household socio-demographics, and more.
The diversity of data collection was driven by the goal of measuring the complex process of recovery. Various definitions have been proposed in the literature to guide measurement of housing recovery. The definition adopted here extends beyond physical repair and functionality restoration of the housing unit to include re-establishment of households’ daily routines and ability to call a place home. This household-centered definition is measured through four housing recovery states which apply metrics on repair completion, household re-occupancy, restored accessibility, and housing stability. Restored accessibility is measured through having the same (pre-disaster level) or improved access to essential community services, such as employment, healthcare and education. Housing stability is measured as the household’s intention and ability to remain in their current housing unit for at least one year.
This work takes a probabilistic approach to demonstrate how physical damage to one’s home, socio-demographics, and financial recovery resources influence a household’s timing to reach each level of housing recovery while accounting for uncertainty. Preliminary findings indicate that one year after the flooding, the community is only in the early stages of recovery.