Oceanfront property is often considered a luxury. But as climate change brings rising seas and more intense storms, many coastal homes are at risk of flooding. So some wealthy homeowners are looking to move inland.
“And some of those places that are inland have historically been lower income, predominantly populated by people of color. And so you’re seeing people who can afford to move out and make that decision, buying in places and causing housing prices to skyrocket,” Allie Reilly says.
Reilly is a climate resilience planner with WSP, a consulting firm. She was part of a team that identified areas in Escambia County, Florida, that are at risk of climate gentrification and recommended ways to help protect existing residents from displacement.
“So one way we approached it in our work was to think about what affordable housing investments can the county and city make today to try and make sure that folks can continue to live there and stay in place and not be priced out,” she says.
She also suggests using art and design to help preserve a neighborhood’s character and culture, “to make sure that folks can continue to see themselves reflected in the community.”
She says acting early is critical to help protect vulnerable communities from climate gentrification.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media