2014

Superstorm Sandy one year later: NeighborWorks America continues to assist those impacted

Top affordable housing organization stepped in and stays committed; offers grants, on-the-ground services, trainings, and more

NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, people in the region continue to struggle and NeighborWorks America is supporting member organizations as they provide individuals and families with a variety of services to help them recover and thrive.

NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, supports a network of more than 240 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The organization distributed $360,000 in emergency grants in just the first 45 days after the storm, helping to fund programs that continue to this day, including cleaning up mold that poses serious health challenges. The need for assistance remains critical, and now, NeighborWorks America has stepped up once again with targeted grants. Grants totaling $270,000 have been given to five member organizations and one partner nonprofit, which combine the funds with donations from other sources for projects such as recovery counseling, mold removal and home repairs.

"Home matters to all of us, especially those who are repairing and rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy," said Eileen M. Fitzgerald, chief executive officer at NeighborWorks America. "NeighborWorks America continues to be there for those affected, applying lessons learned from the Gulf Coast and 35 years in community development and providing resources that help them rebuild and get back into their homes quickly and safely."

NeighborWorks America also developed a comprehensive manual for individuals and families affected by Superstorm Sandy, titled Navigating the Road to Housing Recovery, and a training course for nonprofit housing counselors and case managers on how to use the guide most effectively. Soon after Superstorm Sandy, more than 600 people accessed the guide. NeighborWorks America has trained nearly 1,000 housing and rehab professionals in mold removal and remediation and how to use the consumer guide since Superstorm Sandy struck.

NeighborWorks organizations offer the localized, on-the-ground services that help strengthen communities.  Highlights of their work post-Superstorm Sandy include:

  • Asian Americans for Equality (New York, NY) sent workers door-to-door to check on more than 1,000 low-income tenants of the organization's apartments -- while also delivering food, water and flashlights. The organization also opened an emergency help center in partnership with One Flushing in Queens and New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim to offer one-on-one-services in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, serving nearly 200 clients.
  • Community Development Corporation of Long Island (NY) is using a $100,000 grant from the Citi Community Development to develop and test an upgrade to CounselorMax, an online tool that tracks disaster response by multiple agencies, thus allowing families, businesses and their "helpers" to determine the status of their various aid applications.
  • New Jersey Community Capital (New Brunswick, NJ) launched the REBUILD New Jersey fund to help damaged small businesses reopen their doors. REBUILD has provided more than $1.4 million to 34 small businesses and nonprofits, preserving hundreds of local jobs and reinvigorating local neighborhoods.
  • Affordable Housing Alliance (Eatontown, NJ) provided 19 units of quality affordable housing for Sandy-displaced residents and is working to create seven more.
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City/Neighborhood Housing Services of East Flatbush has provided extensive foreclosure intervention services to homeowners who experienced a significant decrease in income as a result of Superstorm Sandy.

For more information about NeighborWorks America, go to www.nw.org. For more information about NeighborWorks America's Superstorm Sandy work, go to www.nw.org/sandy.

About NeighborWorks America
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

SOURCE NeighborWorks America



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