SC Housing Joins Statewide Efforts to Assist Families Impacted by Hurricane Florence
South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) Partners with State Agencies in Damage Assessment
On September 14, 2018, Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina as a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 90 mph. As the storm moved slowly south into South Carolina, it changed into a tropical depression. The hurricane caused nine fatalities, including widespread damage to homes, the environment and infrastructure.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), along with a team of State agency partners, including SC Housing, formed an Advanced Evaluation Team (AET) to travel to affected areas for a boots-on-the-ground assessment of local community needs. The three key areas of focus were: The housing needs of residents; the impact on critical community infrastructure like bridges and roads; and the economic injury to small businesses, including local agriculture.
Local officials expressed concerns about the compounded effects of having multiple hurricanes to impact their communities over the last several years. They reported lingering housing needs and repair work related to previous severe weather events such as the hurricane induced severe flooding events in 2015 and 2016. Rural areas, such as the impacted communities in the Pee Dee region, were already challenged by a lack of affordable housing prior to the storm. Families with low income levels were among the most vulnerable groups because of their inability to afford repairs and their need to remain in the only affordable housing available to them within their community, regardless of its condition. The AET team’s housing recommendations address the need to increase housing opportunities for low to moderate income households.
Additionally, SC Housing convened an interagency Housing Solutions Task Force to support disaster recovery efforts as per the State’s emergency plan. The task force is a collaborative effort between Federal and state agencies, as well as volunteer organizations such as the Red Cross, United Way, etc.
Work will be ongoing to address housing objectives as South Carolina continues its recovery efforts. For more information, a list of disaster resources for impacted residents is available on the SC Housing website at https://www.schousing.com/Home/DisasterResources.