West Street Recovery


“Each disaster has its own recovery, but for some reason we never recover at the same rate as everyone else. There is no equity.”

This comprehensive report identifies and analyzes the barriers to recovery from Hurricane Harvey from the perspective of residents living in low income Black and Brown neighborhoods in Northeast Houston. The research interviews and focus groups took place in 2018-2019, and the report was written in 2020-2021. The results include critiques of the disaster recovery apparatus both on an administrative and a structural level, as well as recommendations for improving the recovery process to work towards a Just Recovery.

Read the full report here: Survivors As Experts, A Community Evaluation of Disaster Recovery in NE Houston
Executive summary
Press Release

Past Research

This study used 68 survey responses as the basis for a community mapping project to assess impacts of flooding in Northeast Houston. The survey results illustrate the widespread issue of flooding from both natural disasters and everyday rain events, the consequent risks to health, finances, and community, and the dissatisfaction with government response. The study also collected desired solutions from the community, which included improved street drainage, improved sewage system, and updated infrastructure.

Study funded by the River Network. Surveys and writing took place from January to August of 2021. 

This report explains strategies that individuals, households, and communities can use to improve preparedness and resilience. In Spring 2021, WSR conducted three focus groups of residents who have faced disaster in quick succession. Residents living in marginalized communities and repeatedly flooded are realistic; they say we should continue to push for state action but plan as if it will not occur. Thus, they are most reliant on and confident in community organizations and each other to prepare for, survive during and recover from disasters.

Study funded by the National Academy of Sciences, Gulf Coast Resiliency Program. Interviews and writing took place in Spring 2021.