Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit


Funding: Sustainable Sources and Increased Access

In all the case studies discussed, policymakers and community members have leveraged a variety of different funding resources to develop and implement disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Included among these resources are funds from: the federal government, state government, nonprofits, private businesses, local governments, and more. It is important that all those involved in developing a community’s disaster resilience take advantage of all the funding opportunities that may be available to frontline communities. In addition, in order to facilitate increased access to resources that help communities recover, individual community members should be prepared to the extent possible, to access funds in the event of a disaster. Outside of the technical support needed to access available funds, having individual savings that are set aside specifically to respond to these types of events can better allow families to rebound and recover from disaster events even though this is not likely for frontline community members who do not have financial cushions or flexible budgets. Many of these case studies identify funds from a variety of different sources that can be leveraged by affected communities and individuals in order to make ends meet, so that equitable preparedness, response, and recovery goals are realized. 

Lessons Learned

  • Disaster funds need to be flexible to fit the needs of various communities and circumstances and to address the specific needs of frontline communities.
  • Public-private partnerships are an innovative source of funding and should be sought out when looking to finance disaster resilience. 
  • Disaster planning often creates economic benefit for partners involved, which often incentivizes investments in these types of projects and can be used as a bartering tool.


Related Resources

HUD Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery

HUD provides flexible grants to help cities, counties, and states recover from presidentially declared disasters, especially in low-income areas, subject to availability of supplemental appropriations. In response to presidentially declared disasters, Congress may appropriate additional funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program as Disaster Recovery grants to rebuild the affected areas and provide crucial seed money to start the recovery process. Since CDBG Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) assistance may fund a broad range of recovery activities, HUD can help communities and neighborhoods that otherwise might not recover due to limited resources.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

Administered by FEMA, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP, CFDA Number: 97.039) provides grants to state and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration.  HMGP funding is only available to applicants that reside within a Presidentially declared disaster area. The purpose of the HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.

Catalyst Miami Disaster Matched Savings Account

The Catalyst Miami Disaster Matched Savings Account was established as a resource for low- and moderate-income individuals within Miami neighborhoods that help families build financial stability to better withstand disaster events. The purpose of Catalyst Miami’s Disaster Preparedness Program is to encourage savings behavior and offer the 1-to-1 match as an incentive, but also to provide important information about hurricane season along with resources available from local government and community partners both before and after storms.  The program helps households build assets and savings through the use of financial coaching, credit coaching, and lending circles. In addition, Catalyst Miami distributes disaster preparedness kits to those who partake in the Program by saving the full amount of the cost of the kit. By supplying communities with these disaster preparedness kits, as well as with teaching participants how to bank and save responsibly, Catalyst Miami helps low-income, underserved communities better withstand the shocks — economic and otherwise — often associated with disaster events.

HUD Community Development Block Grant Program

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a grant program administered by HUD to fund local community development and provide communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Compared to the HUD CDBG–DR program, CDBG funds are appropriated on an annual basis outside of a disaster recovery context. CDBG funding may be used for a wide range of community development activities.

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