Hurricane Irma Grants Support Housing Recovery

Destruction can be seen from the air in and around Marathon, Florida during recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Kris Grogan)

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) board of directors recently approved six housing-focused grants out of the CDP Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund to the following organizations:

  • Centro Campesino received $150,000 for the pilot development of a housing collaborative in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Additional funding is being sought by the grantee through Enterprise Community Partners and NeighborWorks America. CDP staff also submitted a proposal to The Miami Foundation for consideration.
  • Centro Campesino was awarded a second grant for $200,000 to support home repairs for minority and vulnerable populations in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties who are still in need following Hurricane Irma.
  • Citrus County Long-Term Recovery Group received $150,000 through their fiscal agent, Daystar Life Center, a Catholic Charities affiliate, to hire one part-time staff person to handle grant administration and construction costs to conduct home repairs. For this grant, CDP partnered with Volunteer Florida who will contribute an additional $100,000.
  • Florida Housing Coalition was awarded $36,000 for staff and system costs associated with conducting weekly update calls during the next year on long-term housing needs in Florida, with special attention to Hurricane Irma demands. For this grant, CDP partnered with Fannie Mae who will contribute an additional $10,000.
  • The Heart of Florida United Way received $250,000 to support the rapid rehousing needs of evacuees from the Caribbean in central Florida. This grant recommendation is the outcome of a New Floridians Action Plan, led by the Florida Housing Coalition. Rapid rehousing, implemented here, was the first action item in the plan.
  • Monroe County Long-Term Recovery Group received $50,000 for staff capacity. Securing staff for long-term case management work, including a large focus on housing, is critical to recovery in the Florida Keys. Other funders to this grantee include the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, Volunteer Florida, United Way of the Florida Keys, The Miami Foundation and the Miami Dolphins Foundation.

Combined, these six grants support CDP’s goals of serving vulnerable populations and creating avenues that boost disaster preparedness and resilience within affected communities in the area of housing. They address the need for affordable housing, which is critical before, during and after any disaster, and build long-term capacity in organizations across the state to meet the needs created by Irma and exacerbated by evacuees from the Caribbean. This work will ensure that the organizations involved, and areas served are in a better place to respond to future disasters.

These grants, when taken into account holistically, will serve areas most affected by Hurricane Irma while also addressing the secondary disaster created by evacuees from the Caribbean to Florida. They foster statewide cooperation between cross-sector groups in the area of housing through the work of the Florida Housing Coalition, and pilot a housing collaborative that takes lessons learned and applies them to a new piece of programming.

Through the work outlined by these grantees, the Fund serves:

  • Low-income households
  • Older adults
  • Minority, migrant and mixed-status households
  • Families with children
  • A wide range of geographical areas across south and central Florida
  • Funders and cross-sector partners with an interest or influence in the area of housing

This work would not be possible without the time and talent lent to us by the grant committee. The committee consists of Michael Corley (The Patterson Foundation), Bob McFalls and Geula Ferguson (Florida Philanthropic Network), Jacqueline Patterson (NAACP), John Slocum (Independent Consultant and Associate Senior Researcher CIDOB, Barcelona Center for International Affairs), Lori Bertman (CDP board chair), and Bob Ottenhoff (CDP president and CEO).

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