The challenge to bring affordable housing back to the Panama City area after Hurricane Michael devastated communities, triggered the need to find innovative solutions and learn from best practices from others who have endured the same process.
On June 11, HUD led a disaster recovery best practices symposium with approximately 120 attendees from local and state government officials, developers, nonprofits, housing authorities, USDA, FEMA and housing stakeholders; all gathered to hear about the recovery experiences of groups from across Florida and the U.S. The effort was organized in collaboration with the Florida Housing Coalition and with sponsorship provided by Fannie Mae and NeighborWorks America.
Stories of creative approaches to funding, innovative housing models, and partnership strategies were shared through a series of presentations followed by roundtable discussions and a networking reception. Attendees remarked on the excitement generated by the stories they heard and the opportunity to connect with other organizations and had specific requests for additional information and assistance to help move forward with housing recovery in Florida. They also highlighted the need to listen to the community to find out what would improve their quality of life after being displaced by a natural disaster.