BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2016 - 28
New York University's Furman Center examined
the work that AIANY did and asked these questions:
* If flood-proofing measures were implemented,
what would it cost?
* How would flood-proofing measures
* How could such measures be funded?
I was asked to partner in this line of inquiry. The
data collected demonstrated the vulnerability of the
affordable multifamily housing stock; 18 percent
of affected housing was market rate, while the
remainder was subsidized, stabilized, or public.
(see figure 6). Three case-study sites were selected,
and the Furman Center convened a workshop with
a number of people from the Post-Sandy Charrette,
along with experts in financing, costs, funding and
development to look at these issues. The resulting
28 * BUILDINGENERGY VOL. 35 NO. 2 | FALL 2016
report, Multifamily Housing in NYC and Other Urban
Areas Remains Vulnerable to Flooding, can be
downloaded at http://furmancenter.org/thestoop/
To help preserve needed affordable housing
currently located in the floodplain (see figures 7 and 8),
the report recommended that:
* FEMA should modify the guidelines for its
National Flood Insurance Program to allow for
coverage of existing multifamily buildings.
* New York City should expand its Flood Resilience
Zoning Text Amendment to cover buildings
in the 500-year floodplain. (This was also a
recommendation of the
Post-Sandy Housing Task Force.)
* NYC should revisit its existing rehabilitation
programs to ensure that resilience measures
can be readily funded; and it should require that
buildings in the 100-year and 500-year floodplains
that receive city assistance have adequate
emergency and resilience plans.
One of the major issues raised, and not fully
answered, is how resiliency measures are funded.
With the exception of post-disaster rounds of
funding, there are typically no mechanisms in place
to provide funding for resiliency. One clear path is to
tie resiliency funding to energy retrofit programs,
which, in New York, are run by the New York State
Energy Research and Development Authority
(NYSERDA). Although NYSERDA cannot legally fund
resiliency measures, they can provide information
and links on their website relating to resiliency
issues when doing energy upgrades. One example of
how this might work is when someone is replacing a
boiler they are pointed to a resource demonstrating
that it can be relocated for resiliency, often at a
small additional cost.
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