Enterprise and HUD to Host Affordable Housing Symposium on Disaster Readiness and Emergency Planning

Celebrate the Release of National Emergency Preparedness Toolkit for Multifamily Housing

NEW YORK – July 30, 2015 – Enterprise Community Partners Inc. (Enterprise), a national leader in affordable housing and community development, and the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development announced today that they will host an affordable housing symposium on disaster readiness and emergency planning on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at the Rosenthal Pavilion in New York University’s Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, 10th Floor New York, NY 10012 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Entitled, “Ready to Respond: Building Resilience in Affordable Multifamily Housing Communities,” the half-day symposium will convene 200 affordable housing leaders—for-profit and nonprofit landlords; building managers; investors and grant makers; local, state, and federal government officials, and more—to raise awareness about emergency planning for low-income communities and households. The event will celebrate the release of the Ready to Respond: Disaster Staffing Toolkit, developed by Enterprise and HUD to help affordable housing organizations build emergency plans that promote business continuity, resident engagement, and building protection. The Toolkit is the first of its kind dedicated to multifamily housing emergency planning and will be disseminated across the U.S. 

“Low- and moderate-income residents are disproportionately affected by climate change, have the fewest resources to rebuild, and are at the greatest risk of displacement. The affordable housing industry needs to make disaster readiness and emergency planning a priority to keep residents safe and effectively meet their needs,” said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “The ‘Ready to Respond’ symposium and disaster staffing toolkit are the culmination of three years of work helping community development organizations rebuild and become more resilient after Hurricane Sandy, and we’re excited to share our lessons and tools with others in affordable housing to help keep residents safe in the face of disaster.”

“All across the country, recent natural disasters from hurricanes to wildfires, have highlighted the need to work together to prepare for the impact of a changing climate,” said Harriet Tregoning, HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. “It’s increasingly important for organizations, like multifamily managers, to have plans in place to respond to disasters and safeguard the health of their residents. This new HUD and Enterprise report contains recommendations and best practices that organizations can adopt to improve the resilience of their communities.” 

“Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call for coastal cities that climate change is indeed a reality,” said Holly Leicht, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “Confronting this challenge requires an unprecedented level of public and private coordination, including building partnerships with those on the front lines who protect our most vulnerable communities. The ‘Ready to Respond Toolkit’ embodies this approach, and I'm pleased that HUD participated in its development and launch in New York.”

The symposium will feature a keynote address from Harriet Tregoning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Community Planning and Development, followed by two panel discussions:

  • Building Community Resilience: Perspectives from NY Region’s Public Sector Leadership – How the public sector advances city resilience through strategies that promote partnership building, interagency coordination, targeted funding, and innovation.  Moderated by Enterprise Senior Vice President and Former Executive Director of the Federal Sandy Recovery Task Force Laurel Blatchford, speakers include: 
    • NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been
    • Interim Executive Director of New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery Lisa Bova-Hiatt
    • HUD Regional Administrator Holly Leicht
    • New York City Housing Authority Chair and Chief Executive Officer Shola Olatoye
    • Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency Dan Zarrilli
  • Making the Case to be Disaster Ready: Voices from the Field – The importance of engaging in preparedness planning, the risks of not having a plan, and proven strategies to achieving emergency readiness. Moderated by The New York Academy of Medicine Deputy Director of Aging Lindsay Goldman, speakers include: 
    • Fifth Avenue Committee Inc. Executive Director Michelle de la Uz
    • Asian Americans for Equality Executive Director Christopher Kui
    • Jewish Association Serving the Aging Housing Director Donald Manning
    • Services for the UnderServed Chief Financial Officer Mike Whelan

The Ready to Respond: Disaster Staffing Toolkit incorporates videos, guides, worksheets, and checklists to help housing organizations assign staff to disaster response roles, engage in vital planning tasks, test the strength of their plan with a simulated disaster scenario, and perform ongoing maintenance. The Toolkit was developed in partnership with 12 leading community development corporations (CDCs) from around NY and NJ as part of the Enterprise Recovery and Rebuilding program. The toolkit is based on the Incident Command System (ICS), a planning framework used by federal, state, and local first responder agencies to help structure command, control, and coordination of emergency responses. The use of ICS will allow multifamily housing organizations and CDCs to communicate clearly with first responder agencies.

The Toolkit and the Recovery and Rebuilding program were made possible by HUD Section 4 funding, which provides grants to national intermediaries to develop the capacity and ability of CDCs and community housing development organizations to carry out community development and affordable housing activities that benefit low income families. 

To register for the event, please visit https://readytorespond.eventbrite.com