Research Portal

April 7, 2022

Rebecca Walter and collaborators awarded pilot grant for their work on PHAs and disaster preparedness

The Population Health Initiative has announced the award of eight Tier 2 pilot grants, which are intended to encourage the development of new interdisciplinary collaborations among investigators – and with community-based partners – for projects that address critical challenges to population health.

One of the funded projects, “Assessing National Public Housing Authority Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery of Place-based Subsidized Housing Units,” includes Rebecca Walter, Windermere Endowed Chair and Associate Professor, Runstad Department of Real Estate. Walter serves as a co-investigator, amongst Nicole A Errett, of the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS); Andrew Aurand, of the National Low Income Housing Coalition; Jamie Vickery, of DEOHS; and Amber S. Khan, of DEOHS.

The goal of this project is to assess Public Housing Authorities (PHA) engagement in disaster preparedness, response and recovery activities. The team first aims to identify PHA responsibilities through a content analysis of state-level disaster plans. Next, they will conduct key informant interviews to describe strategies being undertaken by PHAs before, during and after disasters, and to identify opportunities to enhance PHA engagement in disaster preparedness, recovery and response.

Partnering with the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) to reach stakeholders, the team hopes to improve understanding around implementation of PHA disaster strategies and advance current knowledge of housing gaps in state-level disaster planning decisions. This work will build a strong community-academic partnership, provide preliminary data on implementation of PHA strategies and foster future research on equitable disaster housing strategies for low-income renters.

Learn more here.