Mira is a Black, wheelchair user that lives in Los Angeles in a neighborhood that has historically been disinvested and neglected. Like many of their neighbors, Mira lives in a soft-story wood-frame building, a common type of housing for many low-income and fixed-income folks across urban California. These buildings are very susceptible to earthquakes.
Using Federal dollars for mitigation and resilience planning, the City conducted an assessment of all the buildings in Los Angeles and has an accessible list of which ones are the most dangerous. The buildings with low-income residents, people with disabilities, and people of color are prioritized to be retrofit. Mira’s building is updated to withstand a big earthquake. Mira feels better knowing the building is stronger.
Mira has lived in Los Angeles for a long time and knows a lot about earthquakes. Mira knows that it’s important to have some supplies and cash set aside, but as a person with a fixed income, it’s not possible. Mira knows there are some government events that talk about this, but it is hard to get there.
The local government knows from their risk assessments that low-income people often cannot afford the time and money to create “go bags” and other disaster prep. Local government teams up with a funder and a community-based organization to provide Mira's building with training, money, and resources to create an organized culture of mutual aid and support in the building. Mira feels safe.
The big earthquake happens. Mira’s building is heavily damaged. Mira is injured. The only option is to wait for government assistance to arrive, which could take a long time and be difficult to access.
Mira’s building is okay. The other people in the building come up to make sure Mira is doing alright. They help Mira fix a few tilted picture frames and do some clean-up.
Mira is living with friends in a non-accessible apartment. It’s hard to find any permanent affordable housing option after the earthquake.
The local government offers Mira a temporary living situation with some funding support from philanthropy, State, and Federal partners. Another local community-based organization partners with a local foundation to support a community land trusts’ purchase of a building near Mira’s old one and keep it affordable. Mira moves in.