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Building Resilient and Affordable Homes to Stand Multiple Disasters

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The last two months made more evident the need to build and preserve resilient and healthy homes. Most houses in San Mateo County were built prior to 1978. But since then, we are experiencing more frequent climate change hazards such as extreme heat and wildfires that put our health at risk. Most of these homes are not equipped to sustain long periods of heat or insulate the smoke. For example, in North Fair Oaks, only 10% of the housing stock has access to air conditioning and approximately 90% of the community is not covered by tree canopy that provides natural relief from heat. This year, these issues were exacerbated by the pandemic that requires all of us to shelter in our homes as much as possible (if we have a home)  to help flatten the curve. This Urban Land Institute’s report highlights 10 principles that jurisdictions can use to guide their planning for more resilient communities that can cope, recover and thrive in the middle of climate change, and equity is one of them to ensure that the most vulnerable community members have the same opportunity to live in resilient and healthy communities.

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