For years, money for flood protection in the Houston area went mostly to richer neighborhoods. A new approach prioritizes minority communities, and it’s stirring up resentments. For flood-prone cities nationwide, the controversial plan has become a test case for grappling with the overlapping challenges of racial inequity and climate change. Governments have long used a simple concept, cost-benefit analysis, to decide where to focus money on flood protection: Spend it where property values are higher, for the best return on investment. However, that puts poorer minority areas at a disadvantage.
By Christopher Flavelle. New York Times. July 24, 2020.