NLIHC members, partners and friends,
As Hurricane Florence approaches the Southeast, all of us at the National Low Income Housing Coalition are keeping everyone in the storm’s path in our thoughts, wishing for their safety and quick recovery. If you are in the storm’s path, please heed the warnings and directions of local officials. Please check on your vulnerable neighbors – especially seniors, people with disabilities, those who are unhoused – and assist those in need.
Hurricane Florence poses an enormous risk to low income people and communities, and to homes that are affordable to them. NLIHC’s initial estimate shows that more than 450,000 affordable rental homes and several hundred thousand mobile homes are at risk of damage or destruction during this storm. Each home represents potentially displaced low income people and families, with few affordable alternatives.
Unfortunately, we have seen this story unfold over and over again. The lowest income people and communities are often hardest hit by disasters; they are least equipped financially to evacuate prior to a storm and, without dedicated advocacy and focus, most likely to be left behind in its recovery and rebuilding.
To help ensure an equitable and complete disaster housing recovery, NLIHC formed the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) in response to last year’s disasters. The DHRC now includes over 720 local, state and national organizations and impacted people, many with extensive experience with disaster housing relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts going back to Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and most major disasters since.
The DHRC stands ready to work with low income survivors and communities impacted by Hurricane Florence and we invite you to join our efforts here: http://nlihc.org/disaster-housing-coalition
We will work with local, state and national partners towards a just, equitable and complete disaster housing recovery in areas impacted by Hurricane Florence, even as we continue to address the ongoing housing recovery challenges and failures in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California. We are in close communications with our members and partners in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia—as well as their congressional delegations and the administration—and are monitoring Florence’s impact on low income people and communities.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, NLIHC will resume weekly DHRC national conference calls and frequent disaster housing policy email updates. The DHRC principles for an equitable recovery will continue to guide our work, as will our comprehensive disaster housing recovery and rebuilding recommendations to Congress, HUD and FEMA.
To everyone in the storm’s path: stay safe and know that NLIHC and the DHRC will be here after the winds calm and waters pass, when the hard, long-term work to recover and rebuild begins.