New design helps disaster victims return home within three months

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Texas legislators are investigating the benefits of RAPIDO, a pilot program developed with recommendations from Texas A&M Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, which dramatically reduces the time it takes to rebuild homes destroyed by natural disasters.

The Texas Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations is studying RAPIDO and other disaster recovery efforts in Texas to develop policy recommendations prior to the January 2017 state legislative session.

In developing recommendations for RAPIDO, HRRC researchers reviewed 40 reports detailing obstacles and challenges faced by homeowners trying to rebuild in the wake of Gulf and Atlantic coast hurricanes between 2005-2015.

“One key finding was the need to address long delays faced by those transitioning from temporary housing to permanent housing,” said Shannon Van Zandt, the HRRC research faculty fellow and professor of urban planning who headed the review. “The RAPIDO program was developed to respond to this challenge by helping residents return to their property within three months, then build their home incrementally.”

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