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Following Hurricane Harvey, Abt Helps Houston Build Fair Housing Into Its Recovery


  • In 2017, Hurricane Harvey resulted in major flooding in the Houston metropolitan area.
  • During its recovery, Houston saw an opportunity to advance fair housing strategies.
  • Abt provides technical assistance to promote equity as the city rebuilds and recovers.
The Challenge

Hurricane Harvey set records for rainfall in the Houston area, flooding more than 100,000 homes and displacing at least 30,000 people.

The Approach

Following Hurricane Harvey, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity contracted with Abt to help Houston achieve its vision of integrating equity and fair housing strategies into its disaster recovery planning. Our work includes advising the city on designing recovery programs and strategies to promote equity and address historically persistent barriers to fair housing.

The Results

Abt is working with city officials to develop an analysis of  impediments to the Fair Housing Choice study that is informed by the disaster’s impact on members of protected classes and that leverages disaster recovery activities to further fair housing goals. We’re also working to ensure that the resulting strategies are incorporated into the city’s plans for the use of federal affordable housing and community development block grants, as well as other planning documents.