Houston Changes Housing Codes After Hurricane Harvey
Seven months after Hurricane Harvey dropped a record level of rain on the city, Houston is still feeling the effects of the rain and flooding that struck the area. While most of Houston has rebounded successfully, there are still parts of the city that are rebuilding. It’s estimated that over 2,160 households are still staying in hotels as a result of the flooding that hit the city.
Houston has been busy making changes that will help to protect against hurricanes in the future. Houston City Council recently voted in favor of new rules for home construction that FEMA has praised, according to the Houston Chronicle. According to the new regulations, homes built in the city’s floodplains will need to sit at least two feet above where the water line would be during a 500-year storm. The chances of such a storm happening again anytime soon are extremely low, but the rules will ensure that homes are better protected just in case.
These precautions are important in light of the fact that Houston residential sales in 2017 were approximately 94,700, which beat the numbers in 2016 by 3.5 percent, according to Houston Agent Magazine. Houston home sales remained strong in 2017 despite Hurricane Harvey, which means that developers are still looking at the floodplains as areas where they can build new homes. Unfortunately, the homes that were previously built in the floodplains were designed to resist only the flooding caused by a 100-year storm. These homes were built only a foot above ground level, which left them vulnerable to the types of flooding that occurred in 2017.
The new regulations should help to prevent such occurrences in the future, though it may also have an effect on the price of homes. Homes in the floodplains may carry a slightly higher price tag due to the additional construction modifications, but they will also protect against the costs that flooding brings.