The wildfires across the state were extinguished months ago, but areas like Bastrop County east of Austin are still recovering from the massive damage. Agency official Brian Sullivan says the HUD money is meant to fill in the gaps where other relief has fallen short.
“And what that means is that after FEMA money is applied to these disasters and Small Business Administration low-cost loan program and even other forms of state and even private insurance funds are applied in the wake of these disasters, there are still a tremendous amount of unmet needs.”
The Texas General Land Office will be in charge of distributing the money. Some of the grants could flow to areas near Houston affected by the wildfires. Montgomery, Waller and Grimes counties all sustained major damage last year. But Sullivan says about $25 million will go toward Bastrop County.
“Based on the disaster data we are seeing, we are directing the state of Texas to target at least 80 percent of this money to Bastrop County, which as we all know was really hammered by these wildfires.”
Counties won't know exactly how much money they'll get until the Land Office makes the specific allocations, but those decisions could come soon.