MOBILE, Ala. — New roofs are coming to Africatown, a hamlet of crumbling shotgun houses amid ancient pecan trees northwest of Mobile Bay.
The replacements, many of which will go to the neighborhood’s poor and aging homeowners, are being paid for by a first-of-its-kind state grant program that aims to lower homeowners’ insurance rates and reinforce Alabama homes against future windstorms.
Alabama officials, like state and local leaders around the country, expect disaster recovery costs to continue to grow as people live in vulnerable areas and climate change increases the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. At the same time, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is considering a plan that would shift more recovery costs to the states.
In response, some states are taking steps to ensure that communities can better survive disasters, efforts they hope will lower recovery costs down the line.