Subject: Disaster Recovery

  • How the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Can Help Flint

    The audacious and callous decisions leading to the tragedy in Flint, Michigan are cruel and beyond comprehension. What is needed is an all-out effort by all sectors of society–not only public, but private sector as well. The Community Reinvestment Act…

  • Policy Victory Means Millions for Lower 9th Ward

    Tonya Boyd-Cannon, a singer/ songwriter, has performed at Jazz Fest and Essence Festival, and recently reached the final 20 performers on NBC’s talent show, The Voice. She is also a former sheriff's deputy, and directed the inmate choir. Her husband…

  • Doubling Down on Community Resilience

    Last month here in Rooflines, I argued that place-based community development can make low-income neighborhoods more resilient to climate crises. A commenter countered that my article undermined “income mobility” strategies—which essentially seek to move poor families out of struggling low-income…

  • What Have We Learned a Decade after the Gulf Coast Hurricanes?

    As the housing community reflects in August on the tenth anniversary of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, what are the lessons we've learned from those disasters and the ones that followed? Some best practices: Think about the long term and create…

  • 2 Easy Ways HUD Could Bring More NOLA Homeowners Home—With Money It Already Has

    Donna Bartholomew’s mother moved to New Orleans as a young woman and bought a home in the Ninth Ward. Over the years, raising her children there, she taught them to love New Orleans the way she did. When she died…

  • Riots and Resilience in Baltimore and Beyond

    I remember reciting the Langston Hughes poem Harlem (“What happens to a dream deferred?”) to my students in South Los Angeles two days before the 1992 civil unrest. Who knew then that the answer was imminent, with the reading of…

  • Two Years Later, Much More Work Remains

      Today marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. To commemorate, the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey joined Sandy survivors, community leaders, and elected officials at several events along the Jersey Shore.   In a statement, HCDNNJ…

  • Is It Time to Think About Post-Post-Katrina New Orleans?

    Nine years on, New Orleans is a very different place from what it was like in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. What may be more notable, though, as I came away from a recent visit thinking, is that it is…

  • Explore Post-Crisis Rebuilding Beyond the Linear Narrative

    When I first came to New Orleans with my video camera in the months after Hurricane Katrina, it was already apparent that, just as the days after the storm laid bare deep and painful truths about race, class, and citizenship…

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    Where’s the Map for Social Inequity?

    I spent the day at a workshop on July 9 called, "Post-Sandy: The Effect on the Urban," held at New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture. This rare meeting of the Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey sections of…

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    Recovery from the Grassroots

    An interesting new planning document by the Sandy Regional Assembly was just released by a cross-section of grassroots groups, most based in New York City, on how to prevent the next big hurricane that rumbles up the East Coast from…

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    CDFIs Speed Up Sandy Recovery

      When disasters strike, our first responders ensure that emergency resources get to those in need.  But when the immediate danger has passed, communities need a different kind of support.  For families, recovery depends on repairing damage that has rendered…

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    An Important Piece of the Puzzle: A Response to “Some of Us Shall Not Be Moved”

    In her recent Shelterforce online review of We Shall Not Be Moved, my book about post-Katrina recovery efforts in five New Orleans neighborhoods, Lydia Pelot-Hobbs argues that the book presents “a skewed portrait of the rebuilding process, while claiming to tell…

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    Disaster and Recovery – Part II

    Shortly after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf Coast, I was dispatched to New Orleans by the corporate foundation that I worked for to figure out how to deploy our philanthropic disaster recovery commitment.  It was a heartbreaking experience,…

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    “Doing What They Do Best”: Lessons of Occupy Sandy

    Many people have passed around the article "Occupy Sandy Emerges as Relief Organization of the 21st Century," in the weeks since hurricane Sandy. It's a good read and worth some deeper thought. There are many reasons why Occupy Sandy took…