In a storm's wake, building a more equitable region

One year ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the greater New York metropolitan area, with devastating consequences. Ever since, the foundation has been engaged in a broad effort to support the region’s long-term response to the storm. In rebuilding, we see an opportunity to create a stronger, more equitable region.

In Sandy’s aftermath, we granted $5 million to the NYC Nonprofit Recovery Loan Program, which has been providing interest-free loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 to local nonprofits affected by the storm. Our Good Neighbor Committee—a staff-led initiative that provides grants to organizations working in the neighborhoods surrounding our New York headquarters and several international offices—supported community rebuilding efforts through 23 grants, totaling $469,000, to a diverse set of community organizations. We also committed $254,000 to help protect the health and safety of vulnerable workers on the frontlines of community rebuilding efforts.

As part of our work in Metropolitan Opportunity, we have supported efforts to promote transparency in the allocation of disaster recovery funds, and to ensure that the needs of low-income people are addressed equitably in the rebuilding process (for example, through the creation of new units of affordable housing). Our Promoting the Next Generation Workforce Strategies initiative has collaborated with worker centers in New York and New Jersey to expand and extend job opportunities as a means of strengthening recovery efforts. All of this work is ongoing.

In the year since the storm, we have seen communities come together to support one another—but we have also seen imbalances in aid and responsiveness. That’s why we’re committed to supporting long-term, effective regional planning efforts that meaningfully engage low- and moderate-income families, and to ensuring that federal funds are used in their best interest. We are determined to see that equity and opportunity are cornerstones of the rebuilding process.

 

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The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.