Rice expert available to discuss report on role of buyouts post-Harvey

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News and Media Relations


David Ruth

Amy McCaig

Rice expert available to discuss report on role of buyouts post-Harvey

HOUSTON – (Feb. 5, 2018) – To best improve the way the Houston region addresses buyouts, there must be an examination of how authorities at different levels of government have navigated the process, according to a new report released today from Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. The report examines buyouts and their possible role following Hurricane Harvey. Kyle Shelton, fellow and director of strategic partnerships for the Kinder Institute and Grant Patterson, a Kinder Institute staff researcher for development, transportation and placemaking and author of the report, are available to discuss the document.

The report provides an overview of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs. It focuses on the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which is the largest and longest-running mitigation program among FEMA’s grant initiatives. The report also compares the buyout processes, innovations in implementation and accomplishments in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County (North Carolina), New Jersey and Harris County (Texas). Charlotte-Mecklenburg is highlighted for its city-county consolidation and local funding sources and New Jersey is a prime example of how a state can step in facilitate the conversations between FEMA and local communities, as well as make implementation moves that speed up the process. Harris County is included as a baseline for comparison to the other two areas.

“Cities depend on federal grant programs housed at FEMA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to finance flood-mitigation efforts,” Shelton said. “As disasters increase in frequency, home buyout programs are growing in popularity because they are a cost-effective alternative to flood-control infrastructure and can help reduce repetitive losses.”

He added that the funds saved through buyouts can be rerouted to disaster response and relief, to other mitigation efforts and to the depleted National Flood Insurance Program.

The report is available online at http://bit.ly/2E3SwEU

Shelton will moderate a Feb. 6 panel hosted by the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium, where leading experts on the topic of buyouts will share best practices and their experience to help guide local decision-makers during the region’s post-Harvey recovery. To RSVP for the panel, which will be held at Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative, 6500 Main St., visit http://bit.ly/2DBM8rt.

For more information on the report or to schedule an interview with Shelton, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.


This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.

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Related materials:

Kinder Institute website: http://kinder.rice.edu/

Report link: http://bit.ly/2E3SwEU

Event information: http://bit.ly/2DBM8rt

Photo link: http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/02/buyouts-1b3c2p4.jpg

Photo credit: Rice University.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.