Modeling single family housing recovery after Hurricane Andrew in Miami-Dade County, FL
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This research seeks to improve the current state of knowledge about housing recovery following a major natural disaster through examining single family housing recovery following Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 hurricane, which impacted southern sections of Miami-Dade County in 1992. This inquiry focused on two questions: (1) what is the recovery process for single family housing in a disaster impact area, and (2) how does the housing recovery process vary across households and neighborhoods? To answer these questions, the 1992-96 tax appraisal values for Miami-Dade County were used to measure housing damage and recovery after the storm. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) was used to quantitatively model this recovery process and identify the major factors in play. With regard to the first question, our findings suggested that Hurricane Andrew caused extensive housing damage in the impact area, rendering an average loss to households of 50.4% of pre-disaster home value. Two years after the storm (1994), the average home value returned to its pre-disaster level. In the subsequent two years (1995-96), the average home value continued growing, representing a 7.6% and 14.9% gain, respectively, over the pre-disaster average. Regarding the second question, our analysis found that the housing recovery process varied significantly across households and neighborhoods. Owner-occupied homes recovered more rapidly than rental units. Household income had a positive effect on housing recovery. Our analysis also suggested that post-disaster home sales had a significant negative effect on housing recovery. Neighborhood race/ethnicity composition affected the housing recovery process. Homes in minority populated neighborhoods (both Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black) recovered more slowly than homes in majority populated areas (non-Hispanic White). When considering Cuban- Hispanics and non-Cuban Hispanics as two separate groups, neighborhoods with a higher concentration of Cuban-Hispanics, while having no clear advantage at the beginning of the recovery period, recovered more rapidly than other minority populated areas. Previous studies suggested that the long-term impact of natural disasters at the aggregated level is minimal, and yet our results showed that the housing impact of Hurricane Andrew lasted at least more than four years. In fact, housing inequality in the impact area increased markedly during the recovery process due to the unequal nature of housing recovery.