HUD Releases Updated PHA Disaster Readiness Guidebook
HUD recently released an updated version of its Public Housing Agency (PHA) Disaster Readiness, Response, and Recovery Guidebook to assist PHAs in effectively navigating the disaster process. Data shows disasters disproportionally affect low-income and historically marginalized communities, including the families and individuals who live in HUD-assisted housing. And these events have operational impacts on housing agencies.
With these risks in mind, HUD, in line with information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), updated this guidebook specifically to help housing agencies be ready for, respond to, and recover from emergency events caused by disasters.
The update to the guidebook directly supports HUD’s Climate Action Plan, released last year as part of the Biden administration’s whole-of-government approach to confronting the climate crisis. This plan includes actions to strengthen disaster recovery by updating policies and operations to create greater climate resilience. The guidebook can be found at www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PIH/documents/PHA-D3R_Guidebook.pdf.
HUD says the guidebook is the primary resource for PHAs to prepare for, respond to, and recovery from a disaster. This updated version clarifies PHAs’ roles and responsibilities, emphasizes communication and collaboration, and lists funding resources and short- and long-term housing options for displaced families. The guidebook is divided into chapters on readiness, response, and recovery and includes available resources, best practices, lessons learned, and clear guidance on a PHA’s roles and responsibilities.
HUD recommends every PHA create a disaster readiness or continuity of operations plan. The guidebook and FEMA’s Continuity Resource Toolkit at www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/national-preparedness/continuity/toolkit can help PHAs tailor plans specific to a PHA’s risks, capacity, and resources. HUD notes that while comprehensive, this updated document is not exhaustive.