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Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery Effort fact sheet

About Habitat for Humanity’s Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery Effort

The hurricane response program began immediately after Hurricane Katrina and expanded after Hurricane Rita. It was implemented to help low-income, hurricane-affected families in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama build permanent housing.

Today, efforts are led directly by Habitat affiliates along the Gulf Coast.


Habitat volunteers clean debris from a flooded house in Chalmette, Louisiana, in preparation for rehabbing.


Recovery by the numbers

  • The first Habitat hurricane response house began construction in early October 2005, just six weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit.
  • Habitat for Humanity was the first home builder to start construction in Mobile, Alabama, after the storm.
  • The 500th home began construction in Mobile, Alabama in November 2006.
  • The 1,000th hurricane-response home began construction in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana in May 2007. Habitat also raised walls on its 1,001st home to signify the ongoing, long-term effort.
  • More than 2,716 Habitat homes have been built since 2005 as part of hurricane recovery.
  • Tens of thousands of volunteers have worked with Habitat for Humanity to carry out recovery efforts. An estimated 150,000 volunteers have helped rebuilding efforts in New Orleans alone.
  • In January 2008, the Rockefeller Center’s 75th annual Christmas tree was milled and converted to two-by-fours to help a hurricane-affected family in the U.S. Gulf Coast.
  • In May 2008, the Carters returned to the Gulf Coast for the 2008 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, where thousands of volunteers helped to build more than 250 Habitat for Humanity homes.
  • Before Katrina, the Gulf Coast affiliates combined built about 57 houses per year. Since Katrina, the Gulf Coast affiliates have built, repaired or rehabbed between 350 and more than 900 houses per year.
  • Since Katrina, the top 10 private homebuilders in Louisiana have included Habitat affiliates in New Orleans, East St. Tammany and St. Tammany West.
  • The Gulf Coast affiliates have built, repaired or rehabbed more than 5400 houses total as part of the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery Effort.