Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski says he wasn’t surprised to receive the letter from the state. It read if Galveston doesn’t commit to a public housing replacement plan, under the second round of federal funding, then 16 counties might have to forgo a billion dollars in Ike recovery money. Mayor Jaworski says the departments of Rural Affairs and Housing and Community Affairs, which sent the letter, didn’t set any firm deadlines.
“They basically said they’d like to see a resolution from the city council within a month, I think, directed to the Galveston Housing Authority, encouraging them to, within the greatest, at six months, promulgate a plan for the 569 units.”
That’s the number of public housing units that were destroyed or condemned after Hurricane Ike came ashore two years ago. Mayor Jaworski says the city has already received $100 million dollars in the first round of funding to start replacing some of those units.
“And I’m really looking forward to Galveston showing the rest of the world how it can happen, and not promote inter-generational poverty — not promote blight. It’s going to be, actually, something that fulfills the promise of what public housing was intended to be.”
This evening’s town hall meeting will include several government officials and public housing advocates to answer questions about rebuilding plans. The meeting runs from 6 to 8 in the Grand Ballroom at the Galveston Island Convention Center.