Just Released! Order “Waking Up to Climate Change” by George Ropes, and receive 25% Discount. Learn More

Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

Our Take: Harvey Home Owners: Stay or Go, Pay or Pray, Rebuild or Relocate?

Harvey flooded Houston, but it is likely to put America’s entire real estate market in turmoil. In an article by Richard Luscombe in The Guardian, he reports on the trend that factors in “environmental threats and climate change to land and property values [which] looks certain to become the standard nationwide as Houston begins to mop up from the misery of Harvey.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/tags/hurricane-harvey

Millions of property owners in both coastal and low-lying areas will be faced with a difficult reassessment of risk, and of cost-benefit. Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy may have been shrugged off as anomalies, once-in-a-century perfect storms, but Harvey, the third recent mega storm, establishes a pattern. It sets the new normal. It forces a reevaluation. For sure, insurance companies will alter their risk-assessment models to incorporate the new reality. Then they will revise their rates, the premiums they charge property-owners for providing flood insurance. Sharply higher rates will force many property-owners to face difficult choices: stay or go, pay or pray, rebuild or relocate? Towns and cities will face similar decisions: How much adaptation and mitigation can we afford? How much can we raise taxes? Can this or that neighborhood be saved? Lower-lying areas will deteriorate, won’t be rebuilt quickly if ever, higher-altitude areas will gentrify, gain in value. Legislatures at state and federal levels will have to reform flood insurance programs, tightening coverage requirements and enforcement mechanisms. People’s outcries will be deafening, the anguish and pain will be real. As usual, the poor will pay the most, but so widespread will be the effects of the great-real-estate-new-reality-check, that politicians will have to pass reforms. A vast reshuffling of property values, of living patterns, and to some extent, political power, will all flow from Harvey, a slow-moving wave that will take years to ripple through America. Post-Harvey America will be much more climate-change-aware and climate-attuned, safer, saner, re-urbanized, still stratified, but a little less unequal and a little more community-oriented. Thanks, Harvey.

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE


More Posts Like This

CITY TECH BLOG

Global Pandemics & Global Climate Change

Do global pandemics and global climate change affect each other? How? In my point of view, I can say it is affirmative that global pandemics and climate change can affect each other in many ways. Here is how they both affect each other. The degradation of the environment

CITY TECH BLOG

The Intersection of Computer Engineering & Climate Change: Building a Sustainable Future

In the face of mounting environmental challenges, the role of technology, particularly computer engineering, has emerged as a crucial factor in addressing climate change. This essay explores how computer engineering intersects with climate change and how individuals can leverage their careers to make a positive impact on the

CITY TECH BLOG

The Impact of Climate Change in Nepal’s Terai Region

Nepal is by far one of the diverse countries in the world having a variable climatic phenomenon due to its phenomenal geographical variation. Ranging between the altitudinal variation of 59 m to 8848m, Nepal has a diverse climatic phenomenon. The total area of Nepal147,516 sq. km is divided