In the days and weeks since Hurricane Ida devastated thousands of homes and businesses across the southeastern United States, home builders associations (HBAs) in Louisiana have banded together to support communities and members severely impacted by the storm.
One of the hardest-hit communities was Houma, La., which is home to the Southeastern Louisiana Home Builders Association (SELA HBA). As millions of homes across the state were without power or water, trailers loaded with donated food, generators, equipment and relief supplies began to arrive from HBAs across the country, along with member volunteers to cook and distribute meals and supplies to affected communities.
SELA HBA Executive Officer Wanda Belanger described the outreach in the days following the storm. "There was an incredible outpouring of support after the storm … with offers of donations from both HBAs and other businesses to help in the recovery efforts in Houma."
Associations from across the southeast, such as the Home Builders Association of Southwest Louisiana, Acadian Home Builders Association, Northshore Home Builders Association, Home Builders Association of Northeast Louisiana, Home Builders Association of Northwest Louisiana, Florida Home Builders Association and Baldwin County Home Builders Association in Fairhope, Ala., sprang into action to support these communities in need.
The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans also worked within the communities of Avondale and Kenner through a partnership with their local food bank and other local organizations to distribute over a ton of food to families in need.
"The community comes together to take care of each other, we here across Louisiana and in the bayou are resilient... We are strong together," says Belanger.
Many of these efforts were coordinated by the Louisiana Home Builders Association through The Louisiana Home Builders Disaster Relief Fund. The fund has provided more than 2,000 meals to impacted communities, countless generators, critical supplies, and disbursed more than $32,000 in grants to members.
"Right now, there is still debris and damage in the community even as we get back to the new normal," says Belanger. She advises those looking to support the ongoing Hurricane Ida relief effort to consider contributing to the Louisiana Home Builders Disaster Relief Fund.