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Enterprise: Responding to Storm-Damaged Residents & Communities

Published on September 7, 2017

Putting Our Experience to Work in a Devastating Hurricane Season

Our nation is bracing itself as another storm of unprecedented magnitude threatens the southern coast of the United States. As we ensure that residents and homes in the area are prepared for Hurricane Irma, Enterprise is also lending its knowledge, experience and resources to meet the immediate needs of families and their communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

To date, more than 70 people have lost their lives as a result of Harvey and tens of thousands of families have been displaced from their homes and don’t know when – or to what conditions – they will return. Recovery and rebuilding will be a long and arduous effort, particularly for families already struggling on the margins of the economy.

We have supported housing and community organizations on the ground before, during and after the crucial recovery and rebuilding phases. And we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and do it again, partnering with residents and community groups, housing organizations, and the nonprofit, private and public sectors to ensure that the recovery and rebuilding processes are effective, equitable and inclusive.

The Harvey Community Recovery Fund

Building on this experience, Enterprise has launched the Harvey Community Recovery Fund to respond to short-, mid- and long-term needs, with a goal to raise $10 million in support of storm survivors.

We are rolling out the fund with $500,000 and will begin making grants immediately while we identify additional sources.

To begin, the fund will support nonprofits serving displaced low-income residents and doing the necessary hard work of cleaning up neighborhoods, house by house and block by block in the storm-damaged areas of South Texas; the Houston metro area; Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas, and Southwest Louisiana.

Resources are critical at this moment and we hope you will support the Harvey Community Recovery Fund.

Urging Congress and the Administration to Act Now

Experience also has taught us that effective recovery always begins by listening to residents and local officials. Although the process is never fast enough to meet the real and immediate needs of survivors of natural disasters, we have recommended five policy actions Congress and federal agencies must take now to shorten the amount of time and money needed to help people return home again and prepare communities to undertake infrastructure repairs.

Our response draws from insights gained following Hurricane Katrina, when we became the leading provider of affordable homes in the Gulf Coast, investing nearly $400 million to help rebuild homes and communities. On the policy front, we achieved congressional action to extend tax-credit funding through the Gulf Opportunity Zone, making thousands of additional affordable homes possible.

When Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, we provided long-term recovery and planning funding to community groups in New Jersey and all five New York boroughs, and helped create a Sandy Neighborhood Design Helpdesk. And, after last year’s Louisiana floods, we supported the organizations leading the recovery.

Vital Technical Tools

We have developed timely technical resources to help support mold remediation and other clean-up efforts, emergency planning, and storm-resilient design, construction and building operations. Our fund will help make these tools and trainings widely available to support what will be a herculean effort to repair and rebuild the single and multifamily homes pummeled by Harvey and Irma.

And when the time is right for rebuilding, we will develop critical storm-damage analyses and demographic community profiles to shape and drive the rebuilding process. We will help guide and support nonprofits as they adjust their business operations to tackle rebuilding while creating unique financial tools that generate new private-sector capital to fill market gaps and meet the needs of low- and moderate-income families.

It’s been said that Hurricane Harvey will transform a generation. We must act now to ensure that the storm’s scars create resilience rather than desperation. We must do everything in our power to connect people to not just safety, but opportunity.

Recover today, rebuild tomorrow. We’re in it for the long haul in this devastating hurricane season, and we’re in it for good.

Please join us with your support.

With gratitude,

Terri Ludwig

Terri L. Ludwig

President & CEO

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.