Amanda Martin

Awards for Graduate Student Research that Benefits North Carolina

Each year, The Graduate School honors graduate students in programs throughout our University for their powerful discoveries that contribute to a better future for people and communities in North Carolina:

Decisions and Resilience: Community and Economic Development Analysis of Post-Disaster Buyouts in Eastern North Carolina

Amanda Martin (AICP), City and Regional Planning

2018 Impact Award

Hurricanes and tropical storms — such as hurricanes Floyd and Matthew — have caused devastating loss of life and property in North Carolina. After Hurricane Floyd hit in 1999, the State of North Carolina administered a Federal Emergency Management Agency program that purchased the homes of 4,500 households in floodplains. Doctoral student Amanda Martin analyzed how post-Floyd buyouts affected the economic well-being of households and communities. She focused on the long-term recovery of residents in two small African-American communities: Princeville and Lincoln City, a neighborhood of Kinston. Princeville declined buyout and relocation, and 97 percent of eligible Lincoln City sellers participated.

Her study findings indicate that buyouts created a significant opportunity for individual homeowners, particularly to move to a neighborhood perceived as higher quality, into better homes, or to a city with more jobs. However, the buyouts caused the loss of community social ties that had provided economic value to residents, such as shared carpooling and childcare. Individuals interviewed as a part of the study reported that this translated into lost jobs for former Lincoln City residents and higher crime in the areas surrounding the buyouts. Renters in buyout areas experienced a lack of housing options, and many turned to subsidized housing.

Martin has shared her ongoing study results with the Hurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative, directed by UNC-Chapel Hill professor Gavin Smith, Ph.D., providing insights to improve buyout implementation in the aftermath of that storm — and the others to come.

“Helping socially vulnerable communities bounce back better from disasters is the driving focus of Amanda’s research.” said adviser Mai Thi Nguyen, Ph.D.

View all of the 2018 Horizon and Impact Award winners and their projects

Comments are closed.