In 2005, Econometrica was awarded its first disaster assistance–related contract. Econometrica provided the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Public and Indian Housing with support services related to the implementation of the Katrina Disaster Housing Assistance Program and the follow-on Disaster Voucher Program, two programs that addressed the urgent housing needs of flood victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Econometrica provided data analysis, process development and documentation, funds control and quality assurance, and operational support to assist HUD in its implementation and management of the program. Econometrica’s specific responsibilities included database development, eligibility verification, social marketing, community outreach, and quality control efforts.
Econometrica was also responsible for identifying and informing HUD of housing vacancies to accommodate the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina. We worked with public housing authorities, landlords, realty organizations, and others to obtain current housing vacancy data, and we created a website to provide this information quickly to Federal and local public housing personnel serving displaced households across the country. We also advised HUD about the reliability and usefulness of the vacancy data generally and made recommendations, as appropriate.
Econometrica has since gone on to provide other disaster-related services, including providing onsite subject matter expertise in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Joint Field Office to inform State, regional, and local economic recovery planning following extensive flooding and landslides in Colorado in September 2013. But our first encounter with the post-disaster landscape—and especially the human connections we forged—will forever serve as a reminder of the impact we can have when we connect our professional abilities with the real-world needs and time-sensitive demands that disasters create.
Note: Through February 28, 2018, Econometrica’s fundraising page to support the Central Texas Food Bank, including those affected by Hurricane Harvey, continues to accept donations. Recent reports indicate that there is still great need.
Econometrica was also responsible for identifying and informing HUD of housing vacancies to accommodate the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina.
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