LHC Receives National Recognition as a Leader in Homelessness Assistance & Prevention
The Council of State Community Development Agencies (COSCDA) has recognized the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) for its efforts to house families displaced by the 2016 floods. COSCDA presented LHC representatives, which included Executive Director Keith Cunningham, Jr., with the Sterling Achievement Award during its Annual Meeting last week.
“Receiving the Sterling Achievement Award is an incredible honor and accomplishment – one that recognizes our dedication to serving the citizens of Louisiana,” said Keith Cunningham, Jr. “We have a dynamic team, who despite experiencing personal loss during the flood, demonstrated exemplary commitment and compassion for helping families impacted by the flood.”
The Sterling Achievement Award recognizes state programs that demonstrate positive results in improving the lives of people who are experiencing homelessness or on the verge of being homeless. This award is presented annually to one state agency.
Following the 2016 floods, LHC partnered with Governor John Bel Edwards and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to launch a statewide campaign to help displaced families find permanent housing.
The Louisiana Housing Heroes campaign consisted of a comprehensive outreach strategy to property managers and owners asking them to make their vacant units available for occupancy immediately following a major disaster.
“LHC demonstrated their commitment to the people of Louisiana by working long hours and finding creative solutions and ways to expedite the process for those in greater need,” said HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Ann Marie Oliva. “Without their involvement, the City of Baton Rouge and the State of Louisiana would have faced an increase in homelessness after the Great Flood.”
As a result of Louisiana Housing Heroes, LHC was able to identify more than 600 housing units and secure permanent housing for 287 families.
“Our success is a direct result of the generosity of our Housing Heroes,” said Nicole Sweazy executive director of the Louisiana Housing Authority, a subsidiary of the LHC. “Many of the Heroes waived security deposits and the first month’s rent to assist families who were experiencing financial hardships as a result of the flood.”
Since its inception, Louisiana Housing Heroes has become a national model for success to combat homelessness following a disaster.
For more information about the Louisiana Housing Corporation, visit lhc.la.gov.