By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Lawrenceville, N.J.—Enterprise Community Partners (ECP) has selected multifamily specialist Community Investment Strategies Inc. (CIS) as the latest participant in its Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Program. All together, ECP is now working with 12 entities to develop best practices to enhance the long-term capacity of the region’s affordable housing infrastructure in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
An owner and manager of more than 3,000 multifamily housing units in New Jersey, CIS was selected based on its submitted proposal. The company is working with ECP and other consortium members to assess vulnerability in the event of future crises. It will also explore options to repair physical damage, and identify potential financing mechanisms to implement retrofits.
The goal of ECP’s three-year effort to upgrade the New Jersey/New York/Connecticut region’s affordable housing stock is to provide safe shelter during weather-related crises while supporting disaster response in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. ECP is no stranger to this kind of effort, having been instrumental in rebuilding nearly 10,000 Gulf Coast units in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
A number of CIS properties and surrounding neighborhoods experienced flooding, loss of power, heat, hot water and phones as well as property damage during Sandy. For its part, CIS was able to mobilize its property management team to address post-Sandy needs at its properties. For example, the company responded swiftly to a lack of food preparation capacity at one senior property in central New Jersey by setting up a grill to prepare meals for residents.
CIS will prepare a comprehensive response plan for future disaster scenarios post-Sandy. Program participants receive funding during the course of two years through a combination of private and federal sources.