Expanding Affordable Housing through Disaster Recovery Funds

During the last five years, Houston has experienced six federally declared natural disasters — four flooding events and two hurricanes. Now facing a new type of disaster with Covid-19, the city’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCDD) is shifting how it distributes funding, programming, and assistance. Determined to make disaster funds better serve the residents who are most likely to get left behind when it comes to housing recovery and assistance programs, HCDD seeks to embrace a more equitable funding distribution model. To do this, HCDD must be positioned to use data to capture where it currently stands, who it serves, and the impact of these efforts.

To support this work, Houston is partnering with FUSE Executive Fellow Scott Smith to create a long-term business intelligence strategy that centers equity in its data and programmatic systems. With strong and efficient data systems, HCDD will be able to reach traditionally underinvested communities of color and prepare for the needs of these communities before another disaster strikes.