To Rebuild or Relocate? Long-Term Mobility Decisions of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Recipients Academic Article uri icon


  • Limited funds and the demand for disaster assistance call for a broader understanding of how homeowners decide to either rebuild or relocate from their disaster-affected homes. This study examines the long-term mobility decisions of homeowners in Lumberton, North Carolina, USA, who received federal assistance from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for property acquisition, elevation, or reconstruction following Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The authors situate homeowners decisions to rebuild or relocate in the context of property attributes and neighborhood characteristics. Logit and probit regressions reveal that homeowners with lower-value properties are less likely to relocate, and those subjected to higher flood and inundation risks are more likely to relocate. Additionally, homeowners in neighborhoods of higher social vulnerabilitythose with a higher proportion of minorities and mortgaged propertiesare more likely to rebuild their disaster-affected homes. The authors discuss homeowners mobility decisions in the context of the social vulnerability of neighborhoods. Our results contribute to an ongoing policy discussion that seeks to articulate the housing and neighborhood attributes that affect the long-term mobility decisions of recipients of HMGP assistance. The authors suggest that local governments prioritize the mitigation of properties of homeowners of higher physical and social vulnerability to reduce socioeconomic disparities in hazard mitigation and build equitable community resilience.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Seong, K., Losey, C., & Van Zandt, S.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • August 2021