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  THE LOW INCOME & URBAN HOUSING BLOG  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Affordable, Wind-Resistant Homes Funded With Grant From Travelers

The Travelers Foundation
Housing construction in coastal communities requires enhanced building codes that will result in wind-resistant homes that can withstand the type of beating that was recently experienced by Hurricane Sandy. No one knows the devastation more than insurers like Travelers whose job it is to protect families and businesses against the destruction caused by hurricanes and tornadoes. And they intend to do something about it.

The Travelers Foundation, a non-profit organization of the Travelers Companies, Inc., who is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business, is giving $500,000 in grant money to sponsor the construction of fortified, affordable homes for low-income people along the coastal regions. Joining them in the cause is Habitat For Humanity, a global nonprofit Christian housing organization who constructs affordable homes for low-income families nationwide. Their unique program keeps costs to a minimum by involving both volunteers and the homeowners in the construction work.

Helping the two organizations is the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) who will guide the construction of the homes according to their Fortified construction standards. Eight pilot Habitat For Humanity homes, built according to Fortified standards, are now being built in Alabama and Mississippi. More of these homes will continue to be built throughout 2013 along coastal communities.

Last year, the Travelers Companies and the Travelers Foundation provided $600,000 in grants to build affordable housing for low-income families across the U.S. through Habitat For Humanity. Even Travelers employees volunteered their services to help in the building process. Travelers has provided almost $5 million in support of Habitat since 1994.

Since 1976, Habitat For Humanity has helped over 500,000 low-income families obtain affordable housing. They are also advocates of fair housing policies and a source for training and resources to help families improve their housing conditions.

IBHS is an independent, nonprofit organization who works with and is supported by property insurance companies and whose purpose is to research and recommend improved construction practices that result in lower risks to property from the effects of natural disasters.
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