Experts Roundtable on Enhancing Housing Resiliency

January 24, 2019 | Washington D.C.

The National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices with the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) held an Experts Roundtable on Enhancing Housing Resiliency in Washington, D.C., on January 24, 2019. This one-day experts roundtable examined policies and actions to improve resilience of the housing stock (both damaged and unharmed) that can address the challenges of more frequent disasters. The discussions at this meeting will inform the preparation of a whitepaper to be distributed to governors and their policy advisors in spring 2019.


With natural disasters becoming more frequent, intense and widespread, damages have reached over $400 billion in the past three years, including billions of dollars in damages to the nation’s housing stock. This has prompted the federal government to provide additional recovery funding to state and local governments for housing repairs and adding new conditions and opportunities directed at reducing future damages. As state and local governments work to effectively rebuild their communities, they are faced with the challenge of effectively deploying recovery funding and considering what other policy and planning steps they can take to enhance housing resiliency. At the heart of the challenge is a need for better state coordination around recovery funding. A significant portion of federal funding comes in the form of Community Development Block Grants – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) administered by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as mitigation funding made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In many cases, the state or local agency responsible for administering CDBG-DR is not responsible for administering FEMA mitigation funding. This presents opportunities for gubernatorial leadership, coordination and action: to ensure state agencies are working across silos and expending federal resources in a manner that makes their state’s housing stock more resilient than before the natural disaster struck. There are other opportunities for states to explore as well, including how to make resilient recovery planning a routine exercise that engages multiple parties and to examine updates to building codes and other policies and incentive mechanisms that can add to resiliency efforts.



Registration and Breakfast
Welcome, Introductions and Discussion of Objectives


·      Sue Gander, Division Director, Environment, Energy & Transportation, NGA Center for Best Practices

·      Chris Fennell, Chief Development & Marketing Officer, IBTS


A View from the States: Connecticut and North Carolina


·      Moderator:

o   Garrett Eucalitto, Transportation Program Director, NGA Center


·      Speakers:

o   Brenda Bergeron, Chief Counsel, Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

o   Mia Delaire, Sandy Recovery Program Director, Connecticut Department of Housing

o   Mike Sprayberry, Emergency Management Director, North Carolina Department of Public Safety

o   Laura Hogshead, Chief Operating Officer, North Carolina Department of Public Safety


The Local Experience: IBTS


·      Moderator:

o   Patrick Howell, Association Liaison, IBTS

·      Speaker:

o   Scott Myers, Senior Disaster Recovery Specialist, IBTS


Federal Update: the 2018 Disaster Recovery Reform Act


·      Moderator:

o   Mary Catherine Ott, Legislative Director, NGA


·      Speaker:

o   Matt Cowles, Deputy Director, NEMA

Lunch, with Roundtable Discussion


·      Moderator

o   Patrick Howell, IBTS

Discussion: Innovative Ways to Coordinate Resilience & Mitigation Programs
Discussion: How Can Governors Make Housing More Resilient?


·      Moderator:

o   Garrett Eucalitto, NGA Center


Closing Remarks


·      Speakers:

o   Sue Gander, NGA Center for Best Practices

o   Chris Fennell, IBT