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Community Resilience Planning Assistance for Disaster Recovery

Community Resilience Planning Assistance for Disaster Recovery


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is offering contractor assistance and guidance to three communities to develop or improve long-range plans for improving the resilience of their affordable housing stock to natural hazards. A one-hour webinar will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 2 pm ET/ 11 am PT to provide an overview of the project and introduce guidance and tools developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other associated tools that communities will have the opportunity to use.

An information session was held on December 2, 2021. A recording of the webinar and PowerPoint slides are available here.

If you have any questions about this project, please send an email to

Partner with HUD

If your community is interested in partnering with HUD/ARA for assistance and guidance in developing long range plans to improve community resilience, submit your completed application for consideration to by December 17, 2021. The application must include:

  1. A copy of your community’s most recent Hazard Mitigation Plan and Comprehensive Plan, or equivalents.
  2. A brief letter of support from a local official who has the authority to commit community resources to those participating in this project. Examples of officials with proper authority may include Mayor, City Councilors/Commissioners, City Managers, Department Managers or Directors.
  3. A proposed timeline of your community’s planning process.
  4. Copy of completed application form.

The HUD contractor’s ideal timeline for providing support to communities are shown in the table below.

Community # Start of Support End of Support
1 March 2022 October 2022
2 June 2022 January 2023
3 September 2022 March 2023

A recording of an information session to provide an overview of the project and details on the application and selection process can be seen here.

If you have any questions about the application or project, please contact us at

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What are the objectives of this project?

  2. The primary objective of this project is to develop case studies on how communities can improve comprehensive plans or other long-range plans to enhance community resilience by strengthening disaster preparedness and recovery. A major goal is to demonstrate the use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Community Resilience Planning Guide and associated tools in community planning. Case studies will be developed to highlight the findings of three communities’ experiences using the NIST guidance and associated tools. These case studies will be published by HUD to provide examples for other communities and HUD grant managers to follow in future community planning efforts.

  3. Who can register for the webinar?

  4. Anyone can register for the webinar by following this link and providing their contact info. This webinar will be of most value to community planners and those who have the ability to commit their community to participating in this effort.

  5. What is the definition of community for this effort?

  6. For this effort, the term “community” refers to a place designated by geographical boundaries that functions under the jurisdiction of a governance structure, such as a town, city, or county.

  7. What is the process for applying to participate and how will HUD select the communities?

  8. HUD will consider all communities who express interest in participating in this effort by sending an email to by December 17, 2021. To be considered, that email must include the following:

    1. A copy of the community’s most recent Hazard Mitigation Plan and Comprehensive Plan, or equivalents.
    2. A brief letter of support from a local official who has the authority to commit community resources to participating in this project.
    3. Proposed timeline for the planning process.
    4. Brief application form (coming soon).

    The criteria that will be used to identify the top candidate communities will be made available on this web page and will be discussed at the December 2, 2021 webinar.

    HUD personnel will conduct interviews with the top 6-8 communities before making final selections.

  9. Over what period of time will the project take place?

  10. A HUD Contractor, Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA), will enter into agreements with three communities to provide planning guidance and support over these timeframes:

    Community # Start of Support End of Support
    1March 2022October 2022
    2June 2022January 2023
    3September 2022March 2023

    There may be some flexibility in the dates for period of support, but preference will be given to communities whose planning timelines best align with these dates.

  11. What types of assistance will be provided?

  12. The HUD contractor, ARA, will provide guidance on how to use the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Community Resilience Planning Guide and associated tools. This guidance and support may include:

    • Providing templates for collecting information to organize the effort;
    • Remotely participating in community meetings/workshops to answer questions and provide feedback;
    • Remotely meeting with the community leader regularly (e.g., every 2 weeks) to discuss progress and help with next steps;
    • Providing guidance and training on associated tools, such as the NIST Economic Decision Guide Software Online Tool (EDGe$) or the Plan Integration Resilience Scorecard (PIRS).

    ARA will also look for opportunities for the participating communities to learn from each other by sharing their experiences throughout the process. This may include coordinating meetings between community leaders so that they can share their knowledge and experiences with one another.

  13. Where can I find the guidance documents and tools that are available for this project?

  14. Links to the guidance documents and associated tools are provided below:

    Not all guidance and tools will have to be used by each community. Additional tools may be added if jointly agreed upon by the community and the HUD contractor.

  15. Have other communities used these tools?

  16. Yes, the following links provide summaries of how the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide has been used:

    The EDGe$ online tool has been used in these communities:

    Several EDGe$ case studies are also available here.

    PIRS has been used in Norfolk, VA; Nashua, NH; and Rockport, TX. A summary of the PIRS tools and its application in these communities can be found here.

  17. In what ways can my community benefit from participating in this project?

  18. There are several benefits to participating in this project:

    1. The community will have a liaison with in-depth knowledge of the guidance being used. ARA worked closely with NIST to develop the Community Resilience Planning Guide and Playbook. The ARA Team will be available to answer questions, provide feedback, perform demonstrations of how to use the guidance and tools, and participate in virtual workshops meetings.
    2. The Contractor team also includes personnel that have worked with states and local communities to develop Hazard Mitigation Plans and other long-range plans.
    3. Communities will receive assistance from the Contractor to use and customize templates that will make the process easier.
    4. Participating communities may have opportunities to interact with one another during the planning process and learn from each other’s experiences.

  19. Is HUD coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on this project?

  20. Not directly. However, each community’s Hazard Mitigation Plan will serve as a starting point for this effort and could be revised as a result of the planning work that is done by the community under this effort.

  21. Is the webinar recording customized or prepared to discuss how Tribal Nations could participate or use the resources?

  22. Not specifically. The informational webinar held on December 2, 2021 provided a general overview of the guidance and tools that will be available to any community.

    We will work closely with each selected community to customize what guidance documents and tools will be used and how they will be applied.

  23. Do you recommend that Tribal Nations apply?

  24. Yes, absolutely. We are looking for a diverse set of communities to apply – including Tribal Nations!

  25. Will funding be provided to the selected communities?

  26. No, HUD will not be providing funding to selected communities under this project. This project will provide community planning assistance and coordination. However, part of that planning process could include identifying opportunities to apply for funding to execute the planning that is completed.

  27. Does EDGe$ account for high-probability, nuisance events?

  28. EDGe$ can be used for high-probability, nuisance events or low-probability, high impact events. EDGe$ is similar to tools such as TurboTax in that it guides the user through the process with a series of questions. This allows user to focus on collecting the information needed to complete their own benefit/cost analysis without having to be an expert in economics or benefit/cost analysis.

  29. Does the HUD Community Resilience Planning for Disaster Recovery project align with the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Project - City Resilience Framework?

  30. Though there are many concepts that are similar in terms of creating more resilient communities, the HUD effort is separate from the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities Project.

  31. Do you recommend this opportunity to communities who are already committed to and are in the early stages of launching a multi-year comprehensive plan update process?

  32. Yes, this would be a great opportunity for such a community. You may or may not be able to complete the entire six-step planning process during the time you have our assistance, but you may be able to complete several steps and then continue with the planning process beyond this project.

  33. Can you provide more details on what you expect to be a sufficient level of staff resources?

  34. This will vary from community to community. Large communities will need to commit more staff resources to their planning efforts because they have more ground to cover and often more complexities than smaller communities.

Three communities will be selected from those who apply. The application form and requirements are available on the Partner with HUD page. Applications are due December 17, 2021.

The communities will be selected by using two phases of selection criteria. The selection criteria and process are described below.

The following criteria will be used to rank the individual candidate communities considered for this project:

  1. Community has provided a copy of its current comprehensive plan and/or hazard mitigation plan.
  2. The preferred timeline for the community’s planning process is aligned with the Contractor teams’ project schedule.
  3. The community provided a letter of support from a local official who has the authority to commit community resources to participating in this project. Examples of officials with proper authority may include Mayor, City Councilors/Commissioners, City Managers, Department Managers or Directors.
  4. Community has sufficient staff availability to complete the planning process within a one-year period with a fixed level of support hours from the ARA team.
  5. Community commits to implementing some or all of the NIST community resilience planning process.
  6. Community commits to using one or more of the tools described in the webinar (e.g., Playbook, EDGe$ Online Tool, PIRS).
  7. Community commits to prioritizing the resilience of socially vulnerable populations, especially in the context of disasters.
  8. Community commits to engaging and including vulnerable populations in the planning process.
  9. Community has collected data or plans to collect data that will support the planning process described in the webinar.

An initial ranking of applicant communities will be completed and up to 8 communities will be contacted to set-up phone calls to discuss their applications and planning objectives. This call will be used to confirm and better understand their responses on the submitted application.

Up to 8 communities meeting the minimum requirements will be considered in Phase 2 to determine the best combination of 3 communities for the purposes of the project.

After scoring and ranking communities with respect to the criteria in Phase 1, the following additional factors will be considered to determine the best combination of 3 communities to select from among the top 8 to best meet the goals of the project:

  1. The group of selected communities includes a diverse set of primary hazards and/or geographic regions. Example of hazards may include: inland flooding, coastal flooding, hurricane, earthquake.
  2. The selected communities are diverse in terms of size and type of community. We plan to select a mixture of small and mid-size communities that want to do this type of planning but need some assistance. Large communities that have extensive resources are less likely to be selected. We plan to select varying types of communities. Example types of communities: urban, suburban, rural, tribal. Preference will also be given to selecting communities that differ in terms of primary types of economic activity (e.g., manufacturing, tourism, education, diversified, etc.). These characteristics will be based on our independent research of the community as well as discussions in phone calls conducted in Phase 1.
  3. The selected communities have different vulnerabilities. Examples: poor housing quality, housing affordability issues, underserved populations, etc.
  4. Between the three selected communities, they plan to use a variety of the NIST guidance and associated tools in their planning processes.