Resiliency and Affordable Housing

When:  Aug 2, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (ET)

Resiliency and Affordable Housing

1 LU/HSW | free


What responsibility should be placed on affordable housing when it comes to climate resilience planning and emergency preparedness? Should affordable housing play a role in broader community resiliency strategies, or should its responsibility be more inward-focused, providing only for its residents? Affordable housing is often tasked with solving many challenging problems for its broader community. Especially in projects with public funding, the goals and requirements for energy efficiency, accessibility, equity, etc. can be a high bar to reach. In addition to all these goals, designing and planning for climate hazards can be daunting and often seem financially infeasible. Yet, lower-income populations tend to experience increased exposure to climate hazards while also having a reduced capacity to adapt, making resilience planning in affordable housing all the more critical.

From the perspectives of both the private and public sector, the panelists will share their experiences designing for resiliency in affordable housing.  Case studies will range from retrofitting existing buildings to “climate-resilience hubs” in new construction, with a broader focus on how current policy shapes or supports these efforts. Participants will be encouraged to join in on a discussion about the potential role that affordable housing plays in larger neighborhood resiliency planning.

Learning outcomes:

  • Examine how designing for resiliency both differs and overlaps with designing for sustainability
  • Evaluate how resilient design strategies might be incorporated in new and existing housing at a variety of scales
  • Differentiate between resilient design solutions that support everyday health and welfare of residents, and design strategies that are aimed exclusively at emergencies
  • Identify policies that encourage incorporating resilient design strategies into affordable housing, as well as policies that discourage the potential added expense
  • Recognize barriers to incorporating climate-resilience strategies into multi-family housing and identify ways to mitigate these barriers


Erin Feeney, AIA, LEED AP, David Baker Architects

Erin Feeney is an Associate at David Baker Architects, a progressive, collaborative architecture firm in San Francisco that creates acclaimed buildings and communities in diverse environments. As an architect focused on urban community design, Erin believes that design has the potential to enhance the sustainability and livability of the urban environment, offering comfort and dignity to city inhabitants. Erin’s recent projects include Africatown Affordable Housing—a community-informed development in Seattle—and La Fénix at 1950 Mission—100% affordable family housing in San Francisco. She was a member of the All Bay Collective for the 2017 Bay Area: Resilient By Design Challenge. Erin holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington and has a background in international sustainability research, exhibit curation and design, and nonprofit leadership. Erin is an active driver of DBA’s sustainability initiatives—such as building electrification and resilience—and works with DBA_Lab, the firm’s research, and experimentation studio.

Joy Sinderbrand, Vice President for Recovery and Resilience Department, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) 

Joy Sinderbrand joined NYCHA in 2016 as the Vice President for the Recovery and Resilience Department. Created in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, this department is responsible for capital projects associated with the impacts of that storm, as well as preparing the agency more broadly for the future impacts of climate change. Joy manages the execution of projects at 35 developments under NYCHA’s record $3 billion FEMA grant program and other disaster recovery funding. To date, all major contracts have been awarded and almost $2 billion has been invested in residential buildings housing 60,000 of the most vulnerable New Yorkers.

Joy received a joint Master’s in Public Affairs and Urban & Regional Planning from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland Honors College. She was a Coro Fellow and an AmeriCorps member. A third-generation Brooklynite, she lives with her husband and two children in Brooklyn.

Maya Gantley, Project Manager, Association for Affordable Energy (AEA)

Maya Gantley is a Project Manager at the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), a non-profit dedicated to providing energy efficiency to affordable and low-income housing communities. She specializes in guiding Southern California multifamily buildings through energy efficiency retrofits by developing energy models, calculating energy savings, and creating detailed retrofit recommendations and specifications. Maya is passionate about finding energy efficiency retrofit solutions that support sustainable, healthy homes.

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