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More Than 60 Organizations Attend DHRC Convening to Create Roadmap for Reforming Broken Disaster Recovery System

NLIHC’s Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) hosted a convening from June 12 to 14 in Washington, D.C. that brought together representatives from more than 60 organizations promoting disaster housing recovery and resilience. Participants shared best practices and lessons learned from past disaster housing advocacy efforts and provided insights that will help create a roadmap to better coordinate disaster housing recovery advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels, integrate new tactics and strategies into the DHRC’s work, and ensure that the DHRC lifts up the experiences and expertise of disaster survivors. The event was made possible through support from the Walmart Foundation.

The convening began by grounding attendees in the stories and perspectives of disaster survivors and their important role in the disaster housing recovery movement. During a panel moderated by Julia Orduña of Texas Housers, Sade Hogue, Cheryl Henderson, Dana Jones, and Rita Robles of the Northeast Action Collective explained how their lived experience grounds their expertise in disaster housing recovery, and they discussed their critical work in Texas ensuring their communities have a seat at the table in disaster planning, response, and recovery.

Meghan Mertyris of NLIHC moderated a panel with Todd Holloway from the Center for Independence, Nayda Bobonis Cabrera from FURIA, Nicole Huguenin from Maui Rapid Response, and Rev. Gregory Manning from the Louisiana Just Recovery Network on efforts to integrate disaster survivors into ongoing advocacy. Two important themes emerged from the panel: if ‘you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu’ and ‘there is nothing about us without us’.

Dr. Laura Olson of the Disaster Justice Network presented on emergency management operations, explaining that the field of emergency management was intentionally designed to remain statis and that mechanisms were built into FEMA that impede advocates from bringing about policy changes. She challenged attendees to consider creating a new federal emergency management system.

Read the entire article at the National Low Income Housing Coalition.