By: Kyle Niblett

A team from the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning received $100,000 in funding for their project entitled, “The Heat + Affordable Housing Network: Exploring Landscapes of Thermal Inequity in the Southeastern U.S.” The funds are part of the $171 million the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded this past month to improve the United States’ resilience in the fight against the climate crisis.

“Heat is the number one cause of deaths each year in the U.S. in terms of weather-related factors,” said UF Assistant Scholar Andrea Galinski, who serves as the Principal Investigator on the project. “Certain communities are definitely more vulnerable due to long-standing social and environmental inequities. Perhaps surprisingly, many people are most vulnerable in their own homes, so looking at the intersection of heat hazards and affordable housing programs is critical.”

With heat research being a hot topic, there has been a recent explosion of new research, local heat adaptation plans and city “chief heat officer” roles over the past few years.

“DCP is poised to be a leader in this domain as well,” Galinski said. “We are very excited to collaborate with amazing university partners across the Southeast.”

The project is designed to create a regional “Heat + Affordable Housing Network,” which will explore the compounding impacts of rising temperatures on affordable housing communities in the southeastern United States. The goal of the network will be to develop strategies for healthy and resilient affordable housing, supportive social systems, as well as equitable land use, zoning, and building and urban design that enable communities to flourish in a changing climate.

Joining Galinski on the team as Co-PI’s from DCP are FIBER Associate Director Jeffrey CarneyM.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management Director of Graduate Programs and Research Ravi Srinivasan, and Anne Ray of DCP’s Shimberg Center for Housing Studies.

Rounding out the team are a number of Co-Investigators from Emory University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Florida International University, Florida Housing Coalition, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Andrea Galinski is an Assistant Scholar in the Department of Landscape Architecture, and a Research Affiliate with the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies.

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