Hurricane Harvey

460,000 Texas Households Still Waiting For FEMA Approval

More than five weeks after Harvey, why are hundreds of thousands of Texans still waiting for disaster assistance?

As of Sunday night, about 460,000 Texas households are still waiting to hear back after registering for FEMA assistance.

Since Harvey made landfall on August 25, 305,000 have been approved, according to FEMA spokeswoman Deanna Frazier.

She said one reason for delays is that some homes were inaccessible for inspectors for a long time.

“We have nearly 2,500 inspectors in the field right now,” Frazier said. “And so, they are working diligently to get those inspections completed.”

This is generally true for homeowners. Renters don’t usually need an inspection to get FEMA approval, but there are exceptions, Frazier said.

Assistance can come in the form of rental assistance, help for home repairs or transitional housing.

“Because these are different programs that have different requirements, each program can take a different amount of time to be approved,” Frazier said.

About 82,000 Texas households have been deemed ineligible for FEMA assistance. But Frazier said in many cases it could be due to a filing error and she encourages storm victims to appeal.

The agency has so far approved about $825 million for affected households, more than half of that – $460 million – in Harris County, where 425,000 have applied for assistance. 

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter.Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club.Florian is a native of Germany. His studies in Leipzig...

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