Hurricane Harvey and Housing

Nature’s fury is a concept we all understand, but it’s only when those forces are unleashed for all to see that we know the true extent of the destruction possible. We have watched, shocked, as those caught in the path of Hurricane Harvey fought to survive and then later discovered, and continue to discover, the full extent of the devastation to their homes and possessions.

We at the National Community Stabilization Trust have the people and organizations of Texas, and specifically the Gulf and Houston areas, in our thoughts and prayers. The groups with which we work, those that seek to improve their communities through foreclosed housing acquisition and rehabilitation, must now deal with a catastrophic loss of homes in their communities. More than 50 counties were devastated by the storm and more than one million homes
were flooded or at high risk of being flooded. Current estimates are that damage to over 400,000 homes will result in mortgage loan losses and the majority of these homeowners do not have flood insurance which may result in abandonment.

We contacted our partners at the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) to learn about
their outreach efforts. They’re currently in a waiting phase – waiting to see how some of their
homeowners, renters or properties were affected by this storm and how they can best help.

“Many people are just starting to return to their homes to assess the damage they sustained,” said
David Long, President of TSAHC. “As we and our local partners get a better picture of what’s needed,
we will identify how we can best help the affected communities rebound from this disaster.”

TSAHC created a resource page on their website that helps identify some of the support available to the
hurricane victims.

We ask all who partner with NCST to consider sending support to these communities on behalf of our
colleagues who will be facing years of redevelopment to simply return to some semblance of normalcy.

We all work to restore our neighborhoods from abandonment and blight, much of that resulting from
human activities: population loss, housing market collapse, and loss of income for housing upkeep. The
abandonment and blight caused by Hurricane Harvey reminds us of the power well beyond our control
and the need for all of us to help in this long term revitalization need.

Rob Grossinger serves as President for NCST.