Mathew Sanders is the Resilience Program and Policy Administrator for the State of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development (OCD). The state has received a $92.6 million award in conjunction with the HUD-funded National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), including a $40 million award to support its resilience policy framework, Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE), and a $48.3 million award to resettle the Isle de Jean Charles community in Terrebonne Parish. Mathew was the state’s project team lead for the NDRC application and currently leads the development of the two awarded projects.
Prior to taking on a resilience-specific role within OCD, Mathew served as the organization’s policy advisor, taking on a lead role in the state’s recovery from 2012’s Hurricane Isaac. Among other efforts, Mathew developed the state’s unmet needs methodology and numerous recovery programs. He also authored Louisiana’s Action Plans defining and justifying those programs to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development within the context of demonstrated unmet needs. In this program design role, Mathew has worked extensively with both elected and appointed political leaders, members of the affected communities, and partner federal and state agencies in an attempt to facilitate positive outcomes for both local affected communities and the state itself.
Apart from Hurricane Isaac recovery efforts, Mathew has worked in a lead role to triage dormant and ineffective programs within the organization’s Hurricane Katrina recovery portfolio. Specifically, he chaired an inter-governmental task force to analyze and remedy the HAP-PI program, a soft second-mortgage program targeted to low-and-moderate income residents in Plaquemines Parish. In this capacity, he worked hand in hand with parish officials to determine the ultimate source of the program’s struggles—a lack of affordable housing supply within the parish—and parlay that determination into a reallocation of resources designed to address that particular issue.
Mathew holds degrees from Louisiana State University and New York University in Mass Communication and as a Master of Urban Planning, respectively. Additionally, he is accredited by the American Planning Association’s American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).