Improving the Disaster Recovery of Low-Income Families

Expert policy debate

The costs of natural disasters can be wide ranging, including not just property damage, but broader negative impacts on economic, social, and physical well-being. Research has shown that low income households and communities suffer disproportionately from disasters. Disasters can act as tipping points for families and individuals on the edge, pushing the marginally homeless into homelessness, those living paycheck-to-paycheck into debt and financial insecurity, and consuming any small savings that had been accumulated for housing, education, or other purposes.

How can federal disaster aid programs be improved to assist low-income households? What policy changes need to be made to support effective recovery for low-income households?

READ THE DEBATE: Urban Institute