Galveston Ike Victims Can Still Seek Assistance

Some homeowners in Galveston are still recovering three years after Ike slammed the island. Assistance is still available to those rebuilding after the storm.

Hurricane Ike was nearly as large as the Lone Star state when it spread its destruction from eastern Louisiana to Texas in 2008. The severe damage it inflicted in and around Galveston is still being felt three years later.

“Driving through Galveston, you will see blue tarps on, well now they’re pretty much tattered and disintegrating, but you will see them on houses.”

Deborah Siefert is the manager for the disaster recovery housing program for the city of Galveston. She says construction is well underway on many island homes damaged or destroyed by Ike, but homeowners can still apply for assistance to
the program.

$107 million was made available by the department of Housing and Urban Development.

“To be a qualified homeowner, you must have lived in the city of Galveston at the time of the storm. You must have owned your home, and your home can be either a single family or a duplex, as long as you lived there as your primary residence.”

Maximum annual income to qualify for the program ranges from $37,000 for a one person household, to $69, 700 for a household with eight people.

“You will have to be able to bring in the documentation that shows that you do own the house that you were living here. We will have to verify your income, so you will be bringing in paychecks and bank statements.”

Once qualified, residents are given a forgivable promissory note, provided they live in the home for three years after the repairs are made, and the dwelling is insured.

Siefert says residents who received FEMA assistance or some insurance, but it wasn’t enough to complete repairs, can apply. You can find more information on the program by calling 409-797-3773, or by logging on to the City of Galveston Recovers website.