Resilience Roundtable: John Henneberger

About This Episode

In Episode 1 of the APA Podcast series Resilience Roundtable, host Rich Roths, AICP, talks with planners and allied professionals who make resilience their mission, even in the face of devastating natural hazards.

This episode features John Henneberger, an expert on low-income housing issues, a 2014 MacArthur Fellow, and the co-director of Texas Housers, a nonprofit that advocates for equitable disaster recovery policy and practices. John describes his affordable housing and community development background and how, when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita descended on the Gulf Coast in 2005, he became quickly aware of the exaggerated impact on low-income neighborhoods of color.

He describes Hurricane Harvey’s specific toll on Houston and the surrounding area and how cyclical these disasters can seem, as many of the neighborhoods his organization works in have identical characteristics to what they saw in the Lower Ninth Ward after Katrina, such as an aging housing stock and inadequate or nonexistent public infrastructure. John talks about the innovative ways disaster recovery needs are being met in various Texas counties, spotlighting the system RAPIDO, a temporary-to-permanent housing model that gives owners of the property more control over the rebuilding process.

Again and again, throughout the discussion, John argues that good planning practice and equity are inextricably linked, and giving disaster survivors a sense of agency is one of the most important things planners can do for affected individuals.

Listen to other episodes of the Resilience Roundtable series.

Bottom right photo by Flickr user John Wiess (jweiss3).

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