On average, any given 50-mile stretch of Texas coastline will experience a hurricane once every 6 years. Additionally, about one-third of the total population of Texas, over 7 million people, live in vulnerable coastal areas.
Texas has consistently scored in the bottom 25% in the IBHS Rating the States report, which rates statewide code and enforcement activities every three years. To investigate this apparent gap further, IBHS conducted a survey of Texas building code officials and local code administrators in this vulnerable region of Texas to understand building code adoption and enforcement at the local jurisdiction level. Our survey showed that within the coastal areas surveyed, there are over 264,000 single-family housing units and more than 840,000 residents with no building code protection.
- There are significant differences between incorporated cities and county jurisdictions, and no statewide requirement for code compliance inspections.
- Building code enforcement and construction permitting is the responsibility of the local jurisdiction and can vary widely.
- The roof is the first line of defense against hurricane winds, yet only 1 of the 10 surveyed counties require roof cover or sheathing inspection on new construction.
- Only 3 cities had comprehensive protection, with a modern code, a strong roof inspection program, permitting requirements for new construction, and re-roof, contractor licensing, and training programs.
- Some of the deficiencies are moderated by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) code requirements for those who are insured under that program.