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Drivers of Vulnerability Progression

Through the R2C’s advisory committees’ work in building an understanding of the region by assessing and defining vulnerabilities within all community aspects (people, places, and prosperity/economic system), correlating and interconnected sets of indicators of vulnerable communities were identified and named “drivers of vulnerability.” Some of the most consistent correlating drivers include safe and affordable housing; safe open spaces; health care access; food access and security; access to energy and clean water; economic mobility; and safe, clean, reliable, and affordable transportation. In addition to focusing on management and response to shocks and stressors, building adaptive capacities through robust, integrated processes to address these “drivers” will lead toward transformative change and decrease vulnerability overall in the region.


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these drivers of vulnerability have been framed and reinforced, identifying and establishing common ground across individuals, communities, and disciplines, further encouraging the need for collective and strategic action. To gain a greater understanding of the region's drivers of vulnerability and the impacts these have on our community click image below to explore ECFRPC's Community Resilience Dashboard, where you will find key data metrics under people, places, and prosperity.

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Affordable Housing  

Housing Asset and Resilient Policy (HARP)

The inclusion of housing in resilience planning represents the community’s commitment to reducing risk while protecting lives and property, more specifically, the housing stock.  Housing resilience promotes equitable mitigation programs for vulnerable residents, both before and after a disaster event. Housing resilience planning establishes priorities for policies and programs with the primary goal to protect those most vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards, including climate-change based hazards, and invest where most needed.   

Supported by Resilient Florida (entity) funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the R2C recently embarked in a Housing Asset and Resilient Policy (HARP) project to increase resilience in the East Central Florida region. Housing has been identified as a driver of vulnerability and therefore is a key component. The R2C partnered with three local county governments, University of Florida's Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing, and the Florida Housing Coalition (FHC) to consider housing as a critical asset. Establishing a baseline of residential properties, publicly assisted housing, mobile home parks and parcels, and naturally occurring affordable housing was priority. In addition, working with the Shimberg Center of Affordable Housing, Brevard and Volusia County partners, a coastal flood exposure assessment was modeled, and an inland methodology was developed. For the resilient policy component of the project, the FHC partnered with Orange County to develop a housing resilience policy audit (see below link for the inland policy audit tool).


Understanding which populations and what assets are likely to be impacted by hazard events is critical for developing sound mitigation planning activities and projects. Concurrently, but outside of this working group, the R2C Risk and Vulnerability Advisory Committee alongside UCF’s Dr. Emerich, has developed a methodology for a regionwide integrated climate vulnerability assessment. The methodology includes a standardized and consistent climate and asset data sets for collection, including the aforementioned housing outcomes, for utilization in the regionwide integrated climate vulnerability assessment.  

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Housing Asset Project Summary 

As part of the HARP initiative, the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at the University of Florida conducted several affordable housing analyses including a 1) inventory assessment, 2) needs assessment, and 3) coastal flood hazard exposure assessment.

The goals of the assessment were three-fold:

  • Assess the six-county R2C region’s ongoing housing needs including metrics such as change in home prices over time, rates of housing cost-burden for renters and owners, as well as comparing median wages to needed “housing wages.”

  • Develop an inventory of affordable housing across the six-county R2C region, looking at publicly subsidized housing (AHI); affordable market-rate rental housing (NOAH); and mobile homes.

  • Determine housing stock vulnerable to coastal flood hazards in the two coastal counties and explore how to integrate coastal and inland flood hazards.

Executing on these goals has led to the localization and a standard of measurement across a majority of the central part of the state. The Shimberg Center’s coastal Flood Hazard Exposure Index (FHEI), as well as the creation of housing and flood hazard datasets for both publicly assisted and unassisted/affordable housing stock methodology was first developed through a J.P. Morgan Chase grant in 2018, when the Shimberg Center began to assess the impacts of coastal flood hazards on affordable housing across the state. The resulting FHEI was further developed and refined through a subsequent Chase grant with the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) and the “Resilience and Energy Analysis of Communities and Housing” (REACH) project.

Adapted for Easte Central Florida, these datasets can assist local governments when conducting vulnerability assessments per the FDEP’s statewide VA standards, which include affordable public housing. Additionally, the FHEI dataset can be utilized to assess the geographic exposure to flood hazards for other features (such as critical assets, schools, other infrastructure, roadways, etc.) in other types of analyses.

Resilient Policy Project Summary 

For the second component of HARP, Resilient Policy, the Florida Housing Coalition conducted a policy audit and review of Orange County's policy framework which informs and influences the resilience of the inland housing stock. An audit checklist tool is now available for application for East Central Florida inland communities. Engaging in the audit process helps with identifying opportunities for policy change and developing policy recommendations that help enhance housing hazard mitigation and resilience.


Self-Assessment Audit Checklist Overview

The tool is composed of 16 tabs. The first few tabs include audit instructions, scoring and performance categories, and housing mitigation best practices and guidance on equity. The remaining tabs represent policy areas that have an impact on housing resilience and should be completed by the policy area experts who are most familiar with said policy (Housing expert completes LHAP tab, Principal Planner completes Comprehensive Plan tab, etc.). Once completed, the audit also provides the local government with a “score” on its success in implementing housing mitigation and resilience policy through a scorecard that is built into the tool. Content Overview:

  • Links to federal, state and local regulations and brief descriptions of core plans.

  • FHC's Housing Resilience and Mitigation Best Practices.

  • A framework of three nationally recognized resources for assessing equity in community plans to incorporate racial equity principles into resilience planning.

  • A section that includes a list of local government plans to be reviewed that are considered most relevant to housing resilience planning, such as:

    • Hazard Risk Assessments

    • Comprehensive Plans

    • Local Mitigation Strategy

    • Local Housing Assistance Plan

    • Post Disaster Redevelopment Plans

    • Community Rating System Plans

    • Construction and Retrofit Standards

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