As one of biggest industries that touches nearly everyone in America, the housing industry quickly assembled together to give back to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
From financial relief for homeowners to gathering supplies to donate, the industry is working in overdrive to make sure the people in Houston and surrounding areas get the support they need to rebuild.
This is by no means a complete list of lenders who are giving back. If you were not mentioned and have a way for people to support you in your efforts, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email.
HousingWire, like much of the rest of the industry, and America, is dedicated to helping in the relief process where possible.
Below is a handful of ways the industry is donating to help in the relief, along with ways you as a reader can help.
Fort Mill, South Carolina-based Movement Mortgage is selling custom-made #heartsforhouston T-shirts that will raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
The shirts, as seen in the picture below, have an outline of Texas and the words, “Texas-Sized Hearts for Houston.” The cost is $20 and all the proceeds go to hurricane relief efforts.
Thanks to the Movement Foundation underwriting the cost of the shirts, the full $20 goes directly to disaster relief.
“Our hope is that this shirt campaign not only delivers much needed financial support, but awareness as well,” Movement CEO Casey Crawford. “Jesus noted the great foundational commandments in Mark 12, with the second being ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ This immediately comes to mind when I see corporate America rallying in such an impactful way during these tragic times.”
The shirts will only be for sale through Sept. 8 and can be found for sale here.
Coppell, Texas-based Caliber Home Loans announced it partnered with the American Red Cross to provide shelter and supplies to families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The lender established a matching gift program for all Caliber Home Loans employee donations received through October.
“As a Texas-based company, we’re proud to be able to support those in need within the Gulf area – both in our state and beyond,” said Sanjiv Das, CEO of Caliber Home Loans.
On top of quickly assembling its first response team to assist customers and process claims related to the storm, the Assurant Foundation, the charitable arm of Assurant, donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross for its Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
The Assurant Foundation also will match 2-for-1 all Assurant employee contributions made to the American Red Cross through September.
“Since Harvey made landfall, our employees have been working to support customers with property damaged by this unprecedented hurricane, always focusing on how we can best help them navigate the many hardships storms like this can bring,” said Michael Campbell, president of Assurant's Global Home business unit. “We are only beginning to see the extent of the vast devastation caused by this disaster and want our customers to know that we are committed to assisting them through the recovery and rebuilding process.”
Coming to aide in the relief in a different way, Notarize is offering free notarizations to those impacted.
“Like many in America, we’ve wondered both individually and collectively how we can do our part to help. Frankly, we weren’t exactly sure what that would be, but our team has been searching for ways we could make life even a little easier for those who have lost everything,” the company said in a blog post.
As the situation in Houston unfolded Notarize learned that there are several forms that must be notarized after a natural disaster.
While Notarize said it doesn’t know all of the forms, FEMA or other federal, state or local government agencies may require some forms. For example, FEMA may require savings bond replacement forms to be notarized.
As a result of the growing need for notarizations, Notarize said, “If you are a flood victim or suffered other damage from the storm and need a Federal, State or Local agency form notarized, we will offer the notarization to you for free.” For more information on this, check out the Notarize blog here.
Donations, like the ones listed above, have poured in from all across the financial industry.
BBVA Compass, whose holding company is headquartered in Houston and which has a significant presence in the city, announced Monday that its foundation will donate $250,000 to the American Red Cross and the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to aid disaster recovery efforts in Texas. It also plans to raise, online and at its branches, up to $250,000 in employee and customer contributions to the two organizations for a total contribution of up to $500,000.
The big banks also stepped up to help with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase all pledging $1 million to help in the relief efforts.
Homebuilder Lennar also pledged at least $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Beyond the immediate $1 million donation to the fund, it will also match contributions dollar-for-dollar made by its 9,000 associates nationwide.
And lastly, we here at HousingWire wanted to support our Texas neighbors however possible. For the entire month of September, HousingWire is going to donate 50% of all new magazine subscriptions to hurricane relief. In order to purchase a magazine subscription, go here.
HousingWire's donation, along with the others listed above, is only a small portion of the growing amount of the ways America is giving back. Whether it’s a buying a shirt, sending food or donating money, Houston can use all the support it can get as America rallies together to help.
For more ways to help the victims of the storm, the Houston Chronicle has details on how to donate to the Red Cross and other information.