The National Risk Index and Racial Equity for Renters

Research shows that natural hazards disproportionately affect people of color and renters. However, federal funding for disaster mitigation and recovery planning tends to benefit economically advantaged white homeowners and their communities.

This report assesses whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Risk Index (NRI) reflects known disparities in natural hazard risk for renters of color. HUD and FEMA use the index to establish preferences and competitively award funding to communities and properties most at risk for natural hazards to increase their resilience to future disasters.

The report concludes that the NRI may insufficiently capture racial and ethnic disparities in risk within states for renters, particularly for Black and Hispanics renter households. For this reason, the report urges caution in the use of the index when allocating mitigation and recovery planning resources for renters.


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