GLO to offer grace period to Harris County as it works to meet Harvey recovery deadline

Harris County has until August 2026 to use Hurricane Harvey relief funds, or the money will go back to the state.


Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

The Texas General Land Office announced on Tuesday that the City of Houston and Harris County will be given a six month grace period to get caught up on Hurricane Harvey recovery projects.

Local officials have been in an ongoing stand-off with the state over federal funds for Hurricane Harvey Recovery Assistance. The City of Houston and Harris County were not initially awarded any money from the state, putting a pause on a lot of recovery projects.

"I want the residents of Harris County to know that I care about you, I've heard your frustration with the Hurricane Recovery," said GLO Commissioner Dr. Dawn Buckingham. "I am committed to working across the aisle with your local and elected officials to help you."

GLO is working to build a better relationship with local and state officials to ensure residents are receiving adequate recovery assistance in a timely manner.

"This collaboration is critically important as time is running out, we are literally in a use-it-or-lose-it situation as these federal dollars go away if they are not deployed by 2026." said Buckingham.

Aside from the six month extension, Buckingham said she's committed to keeping recovery funds local to help Harris County with flood mitigation projects which have been backlogged due to the lack of funding.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved $750 million for Harris County and $488 million for the Houston-Galveston region for flood mitigation projects.

"Together we will work to identify flood eligible projects and ensure these dollars are used to protect Harris County communities from future flooding," said Buckingham. "I am proud to say despite the current impression there's no other state or territory that has performed as well in the recovery from Harvey."

Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said the collaboration is a critical part of meeting an August 2026 deadline to use the federal recovery funds.

"Different levels of government led by folks from different political parties can work together for the betterments of our constituents," he said.

Buckingham said if the federal dollars are not used by August 2026 she would ensure the needs of the people are still being met.

"I would anticipate that if they are not going to be utilized by the deadline, we've got a great path to go on to keep those resources local and serve the people who need it," she said.

Harris County officials said projects that are ready for development will be given top priority.

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