“The nation's housing industry responded generously to help the victims of last year's tragic events,” said Robert L. Mitchell, chairman of the effort and the 2000 president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Ultimately, the fund collected almost twice its original goal, and I'm proud to report that all of the donations went to people in need of assistance. None of the money was used for administrative expenses.”
Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Home Builders Care Victims' Relief Fund was established by NAHB with the assistance of its philanthropic arm, the National Housing Endowment. To provide seed money for the fund, NAHB pledged $250,000, its employees donated $60,000 that had been set aside for staff incentives, and the National Housing Endowment contributed $125,000.
Within five months, the fund had received close to $10 million from more than 5,000 members of the home building industry, including state and local builders associations throughout the country.
The Home Builders Care Victims' Relief Fund Committee set parameters specifying how funds that were not restricted to certain charities and purposes by the donors would be allocated.
Ultimately, the committee decided to distribute 89% of the monies not restricted by donors directly to victims residing in and near the New York metropolitan area. Under the auspices of the New York State Builders Association's Research and Education Foundation (NYSBA REF), local builder associations reached out to victims to provide grants to pay mortgage, rent, or other housing-related expenses. Ultimately, about 3,000 families in the greater New York area received assistance with housing expenses.
Ten percent of the unrestricted funds went to the Survivors' Fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. This fund was established to help support long-term educational, health and rehabilitation, grief counseling, and other needs of those individuals and families affected by the attack on the Pentagon.
One percent ($80,000) was allocated to eight volunteer fire and rescue departments that responded to the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA.
Some donors to the Home Builders Care Victims' Relief Fund requested that the money they contributed be distributed to specific charities. These requests resulted in major donations to: Alliance of Neighbors of Monmouth County (NJ), American Red Cross, America's Children of September 2001 Fund, Gift of New York, New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund, New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund, United Way's September 11 Fund, and Twin Towers Fund.
Publication date: 07/01/2002