HUD joins other federal agencies to update climate resiliency plans

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Friday that it has joined more than 20 other federal agencies to update its climate adaptation plan in furtherance of the White House’s national climate resilience framework.

As the nation’s resources are further strained by the intensifying impacts of climate change, the agencies are aiming to bolster the resilience of government operations to absorb these impacts.

“Communities from coast to coast are experiencing the impacts of climate change firsthand, as households face the effects of extreme heat and communities are damaged by increasingly dangerous disasters,” the department said in an announcement. “In light of these impacts, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking action to assess, manage, and reduce the risks that climate change poses to the nation.”

Among the highlighted plans, HUD is establishing protocols to embed climate resilience into its funding opportunities, particularly as the creation of new affordable housing stock remains an important priority. HUD seeks to create new stock that is “climate-resilient [and] energy-efficient,” and going forward will include “climate change preference points in Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) to encourage applications that invest in climate resilience, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.”

HUD acting secretary Adrianne Todman said this is a necessary step to better react to the challenges faced by climate events. This comes as a heat wave has driven record temperatures across the eastern U.S.

“If we want to build stronger, more sustainable communities, we need to address the real impacts of the climate crisis,” Todman said. “This Administration and this Department are making investments to ensure that America’s housing stock is climate-resilient, energy-efficient, and affordable into the future.”

Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, added that the president has directed resources to build up the nation’s climate resiliency.

“Through his Investing in America agenda and an all-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis, the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering more than $50 billion to help communities increase their resilience and bolster protections for those who need it most,” Mallory said in a statement. “By updating our own adaptation strategies, the federal government is leading by example to build a more resilient future for all.”

More information about the whole-of-government approach to climate resilience can be found on the website for the Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer.

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