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Retrofits Improve Affordability and Resilience

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Spring 2017   


Retrofits Improve Affordability and Resilience


      • To decrease utility costs and maintain affordable housing, retrofit programs such as Chicago’s Energy Savers program assist multifamily building owners with technical and financial expertise to improve heating, lighting, and insulation.
      • The South Carolina Safe Home program offers grant funding to residents to improve their homes’ roofing, gables, windows, and doors and strengthen them against storm damage.
      • With upgrades using materials proven to withstand high winds, MyStrongHome helps homeowners in South Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana improve their homes’ resilience to hurricanes and reduce their insurance premiums.

Photo shows a woman examining a hot water heater.

A contractor examines boilers and hot water heaters to determine whether they are performing efficiently. Elevate Energy

Upgrades to improve the energy efficiency of building components such as boilers and heating, cooling, and lighting systems can help owners of multifamily properties reduce their operational costs over time. For homeowners living in areas prone to wind and storm surges, retrofits using resilient building materials can mitigate the risk of property damage and reduce insurance premiums. The upfront costs of performing retrofits, however — along with not knowing which retrofits are appropriate to pursue — often hinder property owners from moving forward. Several public, private, and nonprofit programs are currently working to address these challenges and support residential retrofits that promote energy efficiency and mitigate damage from natural hazards.

The Energy Savers program offers technical support and financing to retrofit aging multifamily buildings in the city of Chicago and surrounding counties. Homeowners in South Carolina have access to two programs that support home retrofits to mitigate storm damage. The state-funded South Carolina Safe Home Program provides grants for home retrofit activities such as strengthening gables, providing roof water barriers, and examining weak studs and foundations. A private-sector program, MyStrongHome, offers upgrades at minimal or no upfront cost using building materials proven to withstand high winds.

Energy Savers Retrofits in Chicago

Launched in 2008, the Energy Savers program is a collaboration between the nonprofit Elevate Energy and Community Investment Corporation (CIC), a community development financial institution. The Energy Savers program allows owners of multifamily buildings to decrease their utility costs through energy-efficient upgrades, which helps keep this housing affordable.1 Currently, Energy Savers targets affordable rental housing in multifamily buildings with five or more units in seven counties in the greater Chicago area as well as the city of Rockford, Illinois.2

Multifamily housing makes up 77 percent of Chicago’s housing stock, and much of that stock was constructed before 1942 and lacks modern, energy-efficient lighting, insulation, heating, and cooling upgrades.3 Most of the buildings in the Energy Savers program are three-story brick walkups that typically have flat roofs, radiators that generate heat from single-pipe steam heat systems, and gas boilers that are 15 to 20 years old.4 As Jackie Wiese, assessment field services manager at Elevate Energy, says, “Part of Elevate Energy’s mission of smarter energy use for all is reaching markets that would not otherwise see energy efficiency benefits.”5

The Energy Savers program arose out of the need to reverse the loss of Chicago’s affordable rental housing, some of which was being converted to condominiums.6 Recognizing that preserving affordable rentals was more cost effective than new construction, a large policy collaborative led by CIC called the Preservation Compact — composed of government and nonprofit officials, resident advocacy groups, civic and other nonprofit organizations, and property owners — participated in conversations with the MacArthur Foundation and housing stakeholders from 2005 to 2006 to address ways to preserve affordable rentals.7 The Preservation Compact helps building owners maintain affordable housing by reducing their operating costs and strengthening their ability to undertake rehabilitation projects.8 Stacie Young, director of the Preservation Compact at CIC, observes that building owners, who were facing rapidly rising utility bills, were keen to reduce their operating costs. The Preservation Compact and housing stakeholders agreed that if more building owners could retrofit their rentals, then utility bills would decrease, leaving owners with more resources to maintain their buildings and keep rents low as well as run their buildings more efficiently.9 Among the barriers to performing the retrofits were a lack of information about which retrofits to perform and the estimated savings from retrofits as well as access to financing. The original goals of the Energy Savers program were to perform building assessments through Elevate Energy to determine owners’ energy retrofit needs and provide financing for these retrofits through CIC. CIC believed that more retrofits would be possible if a financing product included underwriting to postretrofit savings. CIC also knew that few lenders were willing to add a second mortgage for retrofit work. Elevate Energy and CIC partnered to fill these gaps in 2008 with the Energy Savers program.10

A One-Stop Shop

Elevate Energy is a one-stop shop that provides building owners with free energy assessments, technical assistance, CIC financing, information on rebates and other incentives, and postretrofit followups.11 As part of Elevate Energy’s multifamily application, building owners answer questions pertaining to their interest in loan financing options. Building owners who are interested in obtaining a loan can apply for one through the Energy Savers Loan program, a partnership between Elevate Energy staff and CIC. While CIC begins the loan application with the building owner, Elevate Energy schedules a free onsite energy assessment. CIC and Elevate Energy communicate regularly to keep track of the recommended retrofits that will influence loan amounts.12

Elevate Energy conducts its energy assessments using a team of energy analysts with support from an internal construction management team. The assessments examine the building envelope; heating, cooling, and hot water heater systems; lighting; water usage; and opportunities for roof cavity air sealing and insulation.13 Multifamily building owners also receive free in-unit programmable thermostats and energy-efficient lighting in common areas.14 Building owners must submit one year of paid gas and electric bills so that Elevate Energy can estimate the projected energy savings.15 After the onsite assessment and upon receipt of owners’ utility data, Elevate Energy uses the onsite assessment and utility bill data to develop a list of recommended upgrades and projected gas and electric savings. Owners are not required to implement all the recommended upgrades; instead, they can prioritize some upgrades over others as their budget allows.16

Elevate Energy staff maintain a list of vetted, insured, and licensed contractors that they trust to complete quality work.17 A critical part of the construction oversight is to ensure that the new building technologies are working to their full capacity and achieving the predicted savings.18 As new building technologies emerge, assessments are critical to determine which retrofits generate the greatest cost savings.

Two workers stand on a metal scaffolding plank working on the siding of a house as two others look on.
Elevate Energy contractors retrofit a building envelope to improve durability and ventilation.
Elevate Energy

Loan Pool Financing

CIC originally financed Energy Savers through a separate pilot loan pool because financing multifamily retrofit activity based on projected energy savings, and using a second mortgage, was untested, and potential investors perceived the strategy as too risky. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the city of Chicago provided $2.75 million and $1 million, respectively, to increase the loan loss reserve. CIC also secured $6 million and $8.5 million in additional loan capital from the MacArthur Foundation and Bank of America, respectively.19 Although no monetary ceiling currently exists for what CIC finances, typical retrofit costs range from $2,500 to $3,000 per unit. The comprehensive support that Elevate Energy provides during the entire process and the relationships that Elevate and CIC have with building owners, contractors, and utility companies have facilitated retrofits for more than 27,000 units throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. CIC has financed $21.5 million to retrofit 10,000 of those units, leading to substantial energy savings.20

Although CIC initially wanted to accommodate building owners undertaking energy retrofits separate from larger rehabilitation projects, CIC staff determined that little demand exists for retrofits alone; most owners implement retrofits as part of larger rehabilitation projects. In addition, many building owners preferred the terms for CIC’s $200 million primary multifamily loan pool to those of the pilot loan pool. The pilot pool had a shorter amortization period of 7 years compared with 25 years for the larger multifamily loan pool. Because CIC had only one loan loss in the pilot stage, CIC and its investors and board of directors are currently in the process of rolling Energy Savers loans into CIC’s primary multifamily loan pool.21

Overcoming Challenges

One of the barriers to implementing energy retrofits is the split incentives problem, in which building owners pay for energy-saving investments, but the tenants pay the utility bills (see “Leveraging Building Innovations for Housing Affordability”). This division creates a financial split between those who pay for energy-saving measures and those who actually benefit from them.22 In cases where building owners pay for both the energy upgrades and utility bills, however, creating incentives for tenants to adopt energy saving practices, such as closing windows, adjusting thermostats, or reducing water usage, can be difficult.23 One way the Energy Savers program has addressed this problem is by recommending that building owners install central boiler control panels to regulate a steady building temperature. Building owners might also consider installing low-flow showerheads to improve overall water efficiency and reduce utility costs.24

Another way to encourage building owners to adopt energy retrofits, says Wiese, is to highlight their nonenergy benefits. For building owners, nonenergy benefits include reduced operations and maintenance costs, and reduced tenant turnover. Tenants, especially those facing housing cost burdens, can enjoy improved comfort and, thanks to lower utility bills, greater financial stability. Tenants and building owners can also safeguard against fire hazards caused by alternative heating sources such as space heaters or candles.25 Although most of the buildings that CIC finances are master metered, some building owners still seek financing from CIC to retrofit individually heated buildings. In these cases, building owners value tenant retention, which they know can be maintained if residents see a reduction in their utility bills.26

Two arm chairs are seen in a room with two chandeliers and windows along one wall.
Interior of a multifamily building that Elevate Energy rehabbed to improve heating, lighting, and insulation. Elevate Energy

In 2013, the Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit (PARR) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology conducted a study of three multifamily buildings in Chicago that were retrofitted through the Energy Savers program. PARR used TREAT Multifamily software — an energy auditing program approved by the U.S. Department of Energy for all residential building types.27 Using this program, the researchers analyzed building performance elements such as building size, windows, doors, thermostats, hot water heaters, lighting, and appliances. The researchers note that the building owners in this study saved between $2,667 and $7,774 each year.28 Energy Savers provides the most cost savings when upgrades prioritize the thermal envelope and the heating and electrical systems.29 On average, building owners who use the Energy Savers program to finance their retrofits save between 20 and 30 percent per year on their heating, cooling, and water bills, which improves their ability to preserve affordable housing stock.30 Another PARR study with a slightly bigger sample of 13 buildings also found positive results for building owners, who saw decreases of more than 25 percent in their natural gas bills.31

In a 2014 study, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future and Bright Power, Inc., found that in a sample of 57 Chicago multifamily rental buildings with master meters, the Energy Savers program resulted in a 26 percent reduction in natural gas consumption, or a savings of approximately $195 per unit each year.32

The biggest driver of success has been information sharing among building owners about the benefits of the retrofits and their positive experiences. Young notes that client testimonials, word of mouth, and positive relationships with CIC have all contributed to building owners’ willingness to finance retrofits.33

Improving Resilience in South Carolina

In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo ravaged South Carolina as well as North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, leaving $17.6 billion of property damage in its wake.34 Research shows that for every dollar disaster-prone areas spend on mitigation activities, they can save $4 in potential recovery costs. The high insurance rates associated with coastal living in South Carolina led the state to create the South Carolina Safe Home (Safe Home) program as part of the Omnibus Coastal Property Insurance Reform Act of 2007. The Safe Home program provides eligible homeowners with grant funding for retrofits that help their homes resist hurricane damage. Retrofits can include reinforcing gable ends; installing double water barriers for roofing; strengthening roof-to-wall supports; and strengthening windows, doors, and garages.35 The South Carolina Department of Insurance manages all aspects of the program, including administering grant funds and overseeing the homeowners’ applications.36

The South Carolina Department of Insurance requires homeowners to complete necessary upgrades within three months of the grant award notification.37 To qualify for the program, a Safe Home inspector must assess an applicant’s home to determine which retrofits are necessary. To strengthen gables, the Safe Home program requires that the triangular part of the gable be affixed to the roof and ceiling of the house. The connection between the triangular part of the gable and the rectangular wall underneath it should also be strengthened.38 When upgrading roofing, the program requires that homeowners install a water barrier that will protect the house if high winds blow away the roof’s first layer. One mechanism for creating such a barrier is to use roofing tape that adheres to the joints of the roof to prevent water from entering the house. Alternatively, a spray-on adhesive can secure the attic joints from water seepage.39 Roof-to-wall connections can be improved using support nails, strapping, and brackets that are strong enough to withstand high winds.40 In addition, Safe Home recommends that roof decking have wood planks 12 inches wide secured with 2¼-inch nails.41 To meet the Safe Home program requirements for wind uplift, fasteners for roofing that uses wood structural panels should be a maximum of six inches apart. Using permanent installations such as Bahama or accordion shutters along with “impact rated” windows, doors, and skylights can further strengthen houses against high winds.42

Financing Positive Outcomes

Funding for the grants comes in part from a 1 percent state tax on insurance premiums, which also includes the state’s wind pool insurance policies. The program offers matching and nonmatching grants of up to $5,000 for retrofits based on the value of the home and the homeowners’ income.43 Low-income homeowners of properties valued at less than $150,000 can receive grants in the maximum amount of $5,000 to use for the retrofits, whereas middle-income homeowners of properties valued between $150,000 to $300,000 are eligible for a matching grant, based on a dollar-for-dollar amount, not exceeding a state contribution of $5,000.44

Each year, the Safe Home awards approximately $2.2 million in grants to homeowners.45 Since 2007, the program has issued more than 4,800 grants totaling more than $20.8 million.46 Most homeowners (about 95%) use the funding to retrofit their roofs, and homeowners who opt to install impact-resistant windows and shutters report saving up to 29 percent on energy costs. Owners of homes retrofitted through the Safe Home program report that their homeowners insurance premiums fell by 24 percent. In addition, the South Carolina Department of Insurance estimates that the program reduces the societal costs of hurricane and wind damage by more than $83.2 million.47


The Safe Home program depends on government grants, and when the South Carolina Department of Insurance reaches its funding threshold, homeowners can turn to MyStrongHome (MSH).48 A public benefit corporation that maintains a social mission in addition to its for-profit goals, MSH retrofits homes in hurricane-prone areas.49 MSH emerged in 2012 in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which caused up to $68.9 billion in damage.50 The program currently helps homeowners living along the coasts of Alabama, Louisiana, and South Carolina retrofit their houses to withstand hurricane and wind damage at minimal or no upfront cost.51 According to Ramsey Green, cofounder and chief operating officer of MSH, local, state, and federal governments have spent years looking for ways to strengthen homes in hurricane-prone areas despite volatile insurance prices. One effort to address this problem is the FORTIFIED Home standards program initiated by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) in the years following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.52 Investment funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and Prudential Insurance granted MSH the opportunity to test the business model in 40 pilot projects.53

Fortifying Houses

MSH incorporates a start-to-finish approach that maintains contact with the homeowner throughout the home assessment, construction process, insurance connection, and FORTIFIED Home certificate stages. MSH has no income requirements.54 The program requires only that eligible homeowners reside in the MSH service area.55

Photo shows a severely damaged single-family brick home with yellow caution tape around it.
A home severely damaged by high winds in Sumter County, South Carolina. FEMA Photo by Marvin Nauman

The first part of the retrofit process is a home assessment to determine what retrofits are needed to withstand potential hurricane and wind damage. Shortly after registering online with MSH, the homeowner receives an estimate (conducted using Google Earth) for the cost of the retrofits and the value of the expected insurance savings. After a homeowner registers for MSH, contractors located within the area receive an email notifying them that the homeowner needs an onsite assessment.56

The homeowner decides whether to proceed with recommended retrofits based on different levels of IBHS standards: Bronze, Silver, or Gold. At the Bronze level, the homeowner can prioritize the roof, rafters, and gables using materials proven to withstand high winds.57 To ensure that the plywood layer is well attached to the trusses, FORTIFIED Home standards require securing the roof decking with 8d ring shank nails that are 2 3/8 inches long to resist wind uplift.58 In addition, reinforcing the gables and ensuring proper ventilation in the attic can limit water penetration during a storm.59

The higher FORTIFIED Home standards provide more comprehensive attention to the entire house. In addition to meeting the minimum Bronze standards, the Silver and Gold standards focus on openings such as garages, carports, porches, doors, and windows, which must be rated to withstand the area’s typical exposure to wind speed and pressure. In addition, gables of more than 48 inches must be braced to resist high winds. Strong brackets and braces also ensure a continuous load connection among the roof, walls, and foundation.60 Simulation studies by IBHS show that houses built to FORTIFIED Home standards perform considerably better than conventional houses when subjected to high wind and storm conditions.61

Financing Retrofits Through Insurance Savings

Once retrofits are completed, MSH becomes the homeowner’s insurance agent through its insurance partner, SageSure. A retrofitted home is less risky to insure, resulting in lower insurance premiums. The homeowners, however, continue paying the same premium amount that they paid before the retrofits, and MSH takes the difference between the new and old insurance premiums for seven years to cover the cost of the retrofit. After 7 years, the homeowner can pocket the insurance savings from a roof that will last between 20 and 30 years.62

Photo shows a man working on a roof.
MyStrongHome provides homeowners with contractors who perform quality work to strengthen roofing against wind uplift. MyStrongHome

Realizing the Benefits

Although MSH is still in its formative years, anecdotal evidence indicates that the 40 pilot projects throughout South Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana are doing well. Hurricane Matthew impacted South Carolina in 2016, and according to Green, the MSH pilot houses “held up really well” during the storm.63

An estimated 75 percent of a coastal homeowner’s premium can be attributed to hurricane and wind risk; by completing the retrofits, homeowners can save up to 48 percent on their insurance premiums.64 The benefits of adopting hurricane- and wind-resistant building materials outweigh the costs of destruction following a natural disaster and the difficulties associated with finding temporary housing.65 Furthermore, a major indication of success is determining the resale value of houses that are FORTIFIED Home certified. One study examined home resale value trends in Alabama from 2004 through 2016 and found a positive association between FORTIFIED Home retrofits and resale value.66


The Energy Savers program provides multifamily building owners with financing and construction resources to complete energy retrofits that reduce utility bills over time. Elevate Energy is currently developing partnerships beyond Illinois with organizations looking to learn from and replicate the Energy Savers model.67 When sharing information across organizations that seek to finance energy retrofits, CIC’s Young emphasizes the need to truly understand demand and owner preferences. A key takeaway from the pilot stage of the Energy Savers Program was that building owners typically coupled retrofit activity with larger acquisition or refinance transactions and preferred a longer amortization period that would yield smaller monthly payments.68

The South Carolina Safe Home program offers eligible homeowners grants to finance retrofits to mitigate hurricane damage; however, a critical challenge of this program is its long waiting list and funding limits. MyStrongHome offers homeowners an innovative way to finance wind damage mitigation retrofits with minimal or no upfront costs. Green believes that room exists for competition in the private sector to develop new solutions to mitigate flood damage and reduce homeowners’ flood insurance premiums.69 Going forward, impact assessments will be useful for evaluating these programs’ long-term effectiveness.70

  1. Jon Braman, Steven Kolberg, and Jeff Perlman. 2014. “Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Retrofits: Results from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Green Retrofit Program and the Energy Savers Program in Illinois,” 25.
  2. Community Investment Corporation. 2016. “Energy Savers: A One-Stop Energy Shop for Multifamily Building Owners,” 5; Interview with Jackie Wiese, 4 April 2017.
  3. Elevate Energy. 2017. “Key Findings from the Chicago Multifamily Market Study,” 2.
  4. Jenne Farley and Russell Ruch. 2013. “Evaluation of CNT Energy Savers Retrofit Packages Implemented in Multifamily Buildings,” Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit, 3–4.
  5. Interview with Jackie Wiese.
  6. Interview with Stacie Young, 24 March 2017; The Preservation Compact. 2014. “Strategies That Work: Preserving Affordable Rental Housing, Biannual Report,” 2.
  7. Ibid.
  8. The Preservation Compact 2014, 2; 4–5.
  9. Interview with Stacie Young.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Interview with Jackie Wiese.
  13. Interview with Jackie Wiese; Elevate Energy. n.d. “Energy Efficiency Services for Building Owners.”
  14. Elevate Energy. n.d. “Energy Efficiency Services for Buildings that Heat with Electricity”; Community Investment Corporation 2016.
  15. Braman et al., 25; Interview with Jackie Wiese.
  16. Braman et al., 25; Farley and Ruch, 5.
  17. Interview with Jackie Wiese.
  18. Elevate Energy. n.d. “Energy Savers Loan for Apartment Building Owners.”
  19. Interview with Stacie Young; Community Investment Corporation. “Energy Savers Can Save You Money!” ( Accessed 9 February 2017.
  20. Community Investment Corporation 2016; “Energy Savers Can Save You Money!”; Interview with Jackie Wiese; Interview with Stacie Young; Elevate Energy. “Success by the Numbers” ( Accessed 4 April 2017.
  21. Interview with Stacie Young.
  22. U.S. Department of Energy. 2016. “Energy Efficiency in Separate Tenant Spaces — A Feasibility Study,” 1.
  23. Farley and Ruch, 2.
  24. Ibid., 8–10.
  25. Elevate Energy. 2014. “Preserving Affordable Multifamily Housing through Energy Efficiency: Non-Energy Benefits of Energy Efficiency Building Improvements,” 3, 6; Interview with Jackie Wiese.
  26. Interview with Stacie Young.
  27. Performance Systems Development. “TREAT Energy Audit Software” ( Accessed 2 March 2017.
  28. Farley and Ruch, 2.
  29. Ibid., ix, 15.
  30. Community Investment Corporation 2016; Interview with Jackie Wiese.
  31. D. Philbrick, R. Scheu, and L. Brand. 2016. “Quantifying the Financial Benefits of Multifamily Retrofits,” Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit, 8.
  32. Braman et al., 27.
  33. Interview with Stacie Young.
  34. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Table of Events” ( Accessed 24 February 2017.
  35. Multihazard Mitigation Council. 2005. “NATURAL HAZARD MITIGATION SAVES: An Independent Study to Assess the Future Savings from Mitigation Activities,” National Institute of Building Sciences, 5; South Carolina Department of Insurance. 2016a. “South Carolina Safe Home: Making Mitigation Mainstream,” presented at National Institute of Building Sciences’ Building Innovation 2016 Conference and Expo, 13; South Carolina Department of Insurance. “South Carolina Safe Home” ( Accessed 21 March 2017.
  36. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 2015. “South Carolina’s Safe Home Program: Increasing Resiliency Among Coastal Populations,” U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 1; South Carolina Department of Insurance. 2013. “Safe Home Program Eligibility Guidelines and Grant Criteria.
  37. South Carolina Department of Insurance 2013, 1.
  38. South Carolina Department of Insurance. n.d. “Section E: Gable End Bracing,” in SC Safe Home Mitigation Techniques Resource Guide, 9.
  39. South Carolina Department of Insurance. n.d. “Section C: Secondary Water Barrier,” in SC Safe Home Mitigation Techniques Resource Guide, 1, 3.
  40.  South Carolina Department of Insurance. n.d. “Section F: Reinforcing Roof to Wall Connections,” in SC Safe Home Mitigation Techniques Resource Guide, 1–2.
  41. South Carolina Department of Insurance. n.d. “Section B: Roof Deck Attachment,” in SC Safe Home Mitigation Techniques Resource Guide, 1.
  42. South Carolina Department of Insurance. n.d. “Section G: Opening Protection,” in SC Safe Home Mitigation Techniques Resource Guide, 2.
  43. Multihazard Mitigation Council and Council on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate. 2015. “Developing Pre-Disaster Resilience Based on Public and Private Incentivization,” National Institute of Building Sciences, 23; Federal Emergency Management Agency 2015, 1.
  44. Federal Emergency Management Agency 2015, 2; Multihazard Mitigation Council and Council on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, 23; South Carolina Department of Insurance 2013, 2; South Carolina Department of Insurance 2016a, 9.
  45. Federal Emergency Management Agency 2015, 1.
  46. South Carolina Department of Insurance. 2016b. “Status of the South Carolina Coastal Property Insurance Market,” 31; South Carolina Department of Insurance 2016a, 12.
  47. South Carolina Department of Insurance 2016b, 32; South Carolina Department of Insurance 2015, 12–3.
  48. Interview with Ramsey Green, 23 March 2017.
  49. Interview with Ramsey Green.
  50. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  51. “Frequently Asked Questions,” MyStrongHome website ( Accessed 28 April 2017; Interview with Ramsey Green.
  52. Interview with Ramsey Green.
  53. Interview with Ramsey Green; Gulf Coast Community Design Studio. 2015. “Mitigation Lessons: A Comparison of Flood and Wind Risk Reduction Programs for Coastal Communities,” 50.
  54. “Frequently Asked Questions,” MyStrongHome website ( Accessed 23 February 2017; Interview with Ramsey Green.
  55. Interview with Ramsey Green.
  56. Interview with Ramsey Green; “How It Works,” MyStrongHome website ( Accessed 23 February 2017.
  57. Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. 2016. “Technical Requirements Summary: Existing Residential, Single-Family Detached Homes,” FORTIFIED Home™ Hurricane, 1–5; Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. n.d. “Insurers Guide to FORTIFIED Home™ ,” 5.
  58. Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. 2015. “A guide to roofing the right way: For shingle roofs in hurricane-prone areas,” 3.
  59. “Frequently Asked Questions,” MyStrongHome website; Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety 2016, 3.
  60. Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety 2016, 4–5; Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety n.d., 5.
  61. Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. 2015. “Disaster Safety Review: IBHS Research Center 1st Five Years,” 13.
  62. “The Numbers,” MyStrongHome website ( Accessed 23 February 2017; Interview with Ramsey Green.
  63. Interview with Ramsey Green.
  64. “How It Works” and “The Numbers,” MyStrongHome website.
  65. Sebastain Awondo, Harris Hollans, Lawrence Powell, and Chip Wade. n.d. “Estimating the Effect of FORTIFIED Home™ Construction on Home Resale Value,” 6.
  66. Ibid., 5; Tiffany Smith. 2016. “Administration for New Initiative to Make U.S. Homes More Resilient to Natural Disasters and Severe Weather Events,” news release, 6 October; Interview with Ramsey Green.
  67. Interview with Jackie Wiese; Elevate Energy. “Expanding Multifamily Energy Efficiency Nationwide” ( Accessed 5 April 2017.
  68. Interview with Stacie Young.
  69. Interview with Ramsey Green.
  70. Interview with Ramsey Green; Interview with Jackie Wiese.


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The contents of this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.