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UCF Receives $3.4M Grant To Help Homebuyers Assess Property Risk

Provided to WMFE by Jim Rinaman
Floodwaters approach a house in Jacksonville.

A team of researchers led by the University of Central Florida has been awarded a $3.4 million grant to develop a program to help home-buyers evaluate potential property risks from natural disasters.

The research team will use the grant to gather data, analyze it, and create a “Hazard Score” for every community, county, and state in the gulf region.

The next phase of the project aims to make their findings more publicly accessible by offering it through an easy-to-use app and websites such as Zillow and Trulia.

The team of 19 is led by UCF Professor Chris Emrich. He said the researchers want buyers to have a more complete picture of potential natural-disaster risks when considering purchasing a home. 

“To make informed decisions about where to live and how to protect housing investments, residents require knowledge about potential natural-hazard exposure and impacts, along with available mitigation strategies,” Emrich said.

“This project aims to advance community resilience by improving people’s understanding of risks and their willingness to undertake hazard mitigation when choosing where they live," he said.

The team will have three years to complete the project.