Update: Hurricane Harvey recovery in Texas
When Hurricane Harvey tore into Texas in September 2017, six local Habitat for Humanity organizations responded as soon as floodwaters ebbed.
Initially, Habitat assessed the level of damage, helped residents find shelter, and offered to guide people applying for assistance from the federal government and insurance companies. In the time since, Habitat has built or repaired homes with families in affected communities in addition to providing disaster-related services and loans to homeowners.
Our impact also has extended beyond immediate disaster response. Houston Habitat, for example, has partnered with other nonprofits not only to help individual homeowners recover, but also to work to preserve affordable housing stock — already a struggle in the city and surrounding areas before the storm made the situation much worse. We also are educating communities through our Habitat Ready program and building homes through our Habitat Strong program that are more durable and resilient to reduce the need for post-disaster rebuilding in the future.
“There is nobody who responds to a disaster in the long run the way that Habitat does.”— Sherwin Sun, Fort Bend Habitat’s executive director
In Rosenberg, a suburb of Houston, Lauren and her family are settling into their new Habitat home. The apartment where they had been living during Harvey was covered with mold after the hurricane. The situation wasn’t healthy for Lauren’s 9-year-old daughter, who has asthma. “I feel like life in this house is going to be very good,” says Lauren, who partnered with Fort Bend Habitat to build her home.
The work continues. Other local agencies involved in repair work have indicated that they already have or will cease disaster repair efforts. Habitat, however, is committed to partnering with residents still struggling to recover.
“There is no organization that does work on the back end like we do,” says Sherwin Sun, Fort Bend Habitat’s executive director. “There is nobody who responds to a disaster in the long run the way that Habitat does.”