Most rental units at risk of severe climate-related threats located in California, Florida study says

About 18.2 million occupied rental units in the United States, or more than 41%, are located in areas exposed to severe climate-related threats, according to a new study from Harvard.

California has the most rental units at risk from severe climate-related threats, like hurricanes, wildfires, floods, earthquakes and more, followed by Florida.

The Hartford announces it won’t issue new home insurance policies to California homeowners

About 4.6 million units, or 77% of California’s rental stock, is at risk of damage or destruction due to severe climate threats. Nearly 2.4 million rentals, or 89% of the rental units in Florida, are at risk, according to the report.

Harvard researchers used data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Risk Index and the five-year American Community Survey to determine which areas were most impacted.

Rental Units Map
Rental Units Map

“Nationally, over one-third of units in small, midsize and large multifamily buildings are located in census tracts with substantial annual losses, as are 45% of single-family rentals and just over half of manufactured rentals,” the report stated.

Additionally, about 4.4 million low-rent or federally subsidized units are in at-risk areas.

“This includes 960,000 units that are public housing, Project-Based Section 8, affordable housing for older adults, and supportive housing for householders with disabilities,” the report said. “Also at risk are 200,000 units, or 52%, are subsidized by the US Department of Agriculture’s rural multifamily housing program.”

As the US rental supply ages, more rental units are vulnerable to environmental damage, according to the report.

This is what a $1,700 rental budget will get you in California

“Notably, newer rental units are much more likely to be vulnerable to weather- and climate-related hazards. Nearly half of rentals built in 2000 or later are in areas with substantial losses, double the 24 percent of rentals built before 1940,” according to the report. “Still, those built before 1940 have the highest rate of physical inadequacy of any rental units so that they may be more vulnerable to damage caused by environmental hazards.”

So, what can renters do to protect their personal property?

It’s recommended that renters obtain a form of renter’s insurance and understand what the policies cover.

The complete report can be viewed here.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KTLA.