NEW YORK – January 13, 2023 – Enterprise Community Partners announced today the successful completion of its New York Climate Resilience Academy, a regional cohort of 10 New York-based affordable housing owners, operators, and developers. The cohort convened from October-November over the course of 10 weeks to discuss how to make local affordable homes and housing developments more resilient to environmental risks, with a geographic focus on improving the resiliency of homes across New Jersey and New York (including the City and throughout the state).
The 10 groups selected for this program included RUPCO Inc., Acacia Network Inc., Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corp., Settlement Housing Fund, Greene Developers, Services for the UnderServed, Home HeadQuarters, The NHP Foundation, Southern Door Community Land Trust, and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
Throughout the course of the Academy, the cohort met and discussed unique regional environmental hazards, critical vulnerabilities in housing structures, and potential solutions and improvements that would make homes more resilient to likely environmental threats. The participants assessed risks among their existing housing portfolios, suggested adaptations for building and retrofitting new and existing housing, came to better understand funding programs underlying housing developments, and identified community engagement and resilience strategies. Enterprise also supported the Resilience Academy with technical assistance through tailored meetings, and by sharing funding and financing strategies.
“We cannot effectively tackle New York’s affordable housing crisis without also thinking about the climate crisis and its impact on the supply of affordable housing,” said Baaba Halm, vice president and New York market leader at Enterprise Community Partners. “We continue to see the impact of environment disasters on our affordable housing supply, but with the right support, stable and resilient affordable housing can help mitigate the most severe effects of climate change on low- and moderate-income households. I am grateful to the 11 participating groups, representing hundreds of buildings, in this Resilience Academy, whose work will help us make homes not just more affordable but also safer for generations to come.”
New York is no stranger to environmental disasters. October 2022 marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed 305,000 homes across New York state. According to an analysis by NPR, the number of New York City residents directly threatened by flooding could more than double in the next 60 years, with over 200,000 homes at direct risk of flooding the next time a major storm strikes. Making homes more resilient to the specific environmental dangers of their region can protect lives, prevent mass displacement, and reduce the financial damages of natural disasters.
“As I was new to my organization, the New York Enterprise Resilience Academy allowed me to learn how to respond to climate hazards in my region, as well as gain knowledge regarding new community engagement strategies,” said Katie Walpole, Director of Program Strategy, Impact, and Evaluation at Home HeadQuarters, Inc. “My peers in the cohort all came from different backgrounds and had different perspectives which allowed us to share innovative ideas and funding strategies. I know [now that] I have a network that I can call upon moving forward.”
“It is more critical than ever that we construct sustainable and resilient homes,” said Marc Sapeg, Asset Manager at Settlement Housing Fund. “While there is always more to learn, we thank Enterprise for convening this group to raise our awareness of the resources available to serve our communities and improve our homes!”
“The information shared during this New York Resilience Academy is critically relevant to our work throughout NYCHA, and we are eager to incorporate this knowledge into our work moving forward,” said Clyde Drayton, Program Associate at New York City Housing Authority. “Thank you to Enterprise and our fellow cohort participants for their shared commitment to resiliency!”
“As the Executive Director of a Community Land Trust, I found the Resilience Academy to be an invaluable asset. Enterprise included everything needed for housing organizations to plan and execute resilient buildings, systems and communities,” said Hajra Aziz, Executive Director at Southern Door Community Land Trust. “The Academy provided industry knowledge through different mediums, and I especially appreciated hearing directly from experts, as they shared information that was tangible and accessible. Participating in this Academy has increased my organization’s sense of urgency to develop resilience across industries and communities to ensure we are better prepared for the impending effects of climate change.”
The cohort launched on October 6, 2022 with an inaugural event in person, and it concluded on November 30. Enterprise will continue to support owners and operators in the NY region to increase climate resilience.
This is the third of seven regional Resilience Academies that Enterprise plans to hold, with the remaining academies to launch during 2023 and 2024. Enterprise has thus far convened academies in the Southeast and Gulf Coast, and now in New York. Academies will launch on the West Coast and Rocky Mountains in 2023, and in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic in 2024. To learn more about the program, see here.
About Enterprise Community Partners
Enterprise is a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. We support community development organizations on the ground, aggregate and invest capital for impact, advance housing policy at every level of government, and build and manage communities ourselves. Since 1982, we have invested $54 billion and created 873,000 homes across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – all to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging. Join us at enterprisecommunity.org.