Help From Fannie Mae

NIBS teaming up federal national mortgage assoc. for climate change mitigation


Stemming from "extensive mitigation research," the National Institute of Building Sciences is now working with Fannie Mae to develop a roadmap on mitigation investment to help Americans and the nation’s built environment prepare for and better respond to the effects of climate change.

The Resilience Incentivization Roadmap 2.0 is being sponsored by Fannie Mae and supported by the NIBS Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council’s Committee on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (CFIRE), NIBS and Fannie May said May 11.

“Banks, insurance companies, appraisers, and real estate firms all play a significant role in how buildings are procured, designed and constructed,” says Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, Interim CEO of NIBS. “How these different segments evaluate the risk associated with particular projects, technologies, and practices can have an enormous impact on whether an idea gets the funding and insurance needed to move forward to fruition.”

The goal of the Resilience Incentivization Roadmap 2.0 is to identify pathways to work with lenders to explore financial products that support resilient buildings, help developers properly evaluate risk and recognize values of resilient buildings and lower the upfront cost, collaborate with insurers to promote insurance programs that reward safer structures, and support communities to develop layered mitigation investment packages.

“The ability to estimate and communicate the value of building resiliency is vitally important to U.S. housing, especially given the current and future impact of climate change on the built environment,” said Tim Judge, Chief Climate Officer, Fannie Mae.

Background

The comprehensive benefit-cost study, Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves, shows many pre-disaster mitigation activities save much more than they cost.

For example, hazard mitigation grants made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Economic Development Administration, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development save $6 for every $1 spent. Furthermore, adopting the latest in building code requirements saves $11 per $1 invested, and the benefits of building retrofits translate into a $4 savings for every $1 investment.

In 2020, CFIRE published “A Roadmap to Resilience Incentivization,” calling for public and private incentives to owners of buildings and other infrastructure to facilitate the upgrade of existing infrastructure and better design of new infrastructure.

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