Climate Resiliency Central to Town of Paradise Rebuilding Effort

December 28, 2022
HCD and City of Paradise Officials

HCD and City of Paradise Officials

Hours after the 2018 Camp Fire ravaged the Town of Paradise, town residents and leaders gathered in the early morning to discuss recovery and rebuilding. And now a few years later, Paradise is stronger than ever with a clear vision for the future.

“You talk about resilience – that's the definition of Paradise,” said Steve Crowder, Mayor of Paradise. “I am so proud of the progress that is happening here.”

Almost 2,000 single and multifamily homes have already been rebuilt, with plans for more high density and affordable housing underway. And a recent award of almost $200 million from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will help fund necessary unmet infrastructure needs such as water utilities, public utilities, sewer, and evacuation routes.

“When you have a major natural disaster like this and are trying to bring people back, trying to rebuild lives and community, you need to have the infrastructure ready to fully rebuild,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “This award will support critical infrastructure for the town as it rebuilds with resilience and climate mitigation central to its goals.”

Paradise has included sixty infrastructure projects in their master plan to help in their goal of rebuilding housing in a sustainable way and making the Paradise community safer for residents in the years to come.

“Because of the help and the partnerships that we have, we're going to be able to do what our citizens asked us to do, which is why I think they're coming back,” said Paradise Councilmember Jody Jones. “Not just people who lived here before the fire, who want to come back, but new people who see the kind of planning we're putting into the community and the opportunities here,” she said.

“The story of Paradise will not be the fire. The story of Paradise will be how the People of the Ridge – Paradise – came back,” said California Senator Jim Nielsen. “And (Paradise) has come back more magnificently than anyone could imagine.”