LIKE ALL AMERICANS, MEMBERS OF THE NAHB watched in shock and dismay as the tragic events surrounding Hurricane Katrina unfolded. Then, less than a month later, Hurricane Rita rolled into the Gulf Coast, causing even more damage in Louisiana and Texas.
One of the most overwhelming consequences of the storms was the loss of housing. The American Red Cross estimates that Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than 400,000 homes, inflicted major damage to 85,000, and caused minor damage to more than 130,000. (At press time, the number of homes affected by Hurricane Rita was unknown.) In comparison, the largest number of homes destroyed by any previous storm was 28,000, when Hurricane Andrew swept through South Florida in 1992.
NAHB TAKES ACTION Shortly after Katrina, as the full impact of the storm was still coming to light, the NAHB held its fall board of directors meeting in Reno, Nev. There, we heard from members who experienced the devastation firsthand and learned about the losses suffered by our extended home building family.
Subsequently, our board of directors voted to allocate $2 million to the relief and rebuilding effort in the Gulf states. Half of the money will go to humanitarian and other relief aid, with a $500,000 donation to the American Red Cross and a $500,000 donation to the Salvation Army. The remaining $1 million has been earmarked to help displaced or economically injured industry members get back on their feet.
Thousands of NAHB members were displaced or lost their homes or businesses, and the NAHB and our state and local associations are working hard to help them recover from the storm as quickly as possible so that they in turn can help rebuild their communities.
HOWYOU CAN HELP We also created a new fund at the board meeting—the Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund—so that businesses, individuals, and our affiliated state and local associations can be a part of the important rebuilding effort in these and other disasters. You can find more information about the fund and make a donation on the NAHB's Web site at www.nahb.org/disasterrelief. You can also mail contributions to:
National Housing Endowment
Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund
1201 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
Learn more about markets featured in this article: New Orleans, LA.