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Houston City Council To Vote On $400 Million FEMA Housing Program

Activists say the contract will get people out of moldy homes and into clean and affordable housing

Texas Organizing Project Director Feldon Bonner speaks outside City Hall.

The Houston City Council is set to vote on Wednesday on accepting a $400 million contract with the Texas General Land Office (GLO), establishing a temporary housing program. With the money coming from FEMA through the state, the program is meant to help people with home repairs, apartment rentals, or by getting in into FEMA trailers.

Two Houston activists lead a song in front of City Hall. “All I want for Christmas is housing,” they sing.

Activists from Texas Organizing Project (TOP) and Houston residents gathered outside City Hall to express support for the contract. They say many residents of low-income housing are often forced to stay in their flooded apartments, leading to problems with mold and creating a major health risk.

“We understand that there is a process but we believe that because of the immediacy and the health issues that are involved that it should expedite things considerably,” said Texas Organizing Project Director Feldon Bonner.

Many affected by Harvey are still in hotels and motels throughout the state. Questions over a precise timeline for public housing assistance have been used to criticize governmental response to the storm.

“It concerns me that so much of this is being delayed. It’s been over 90 days since this hurricane,” said City Council member Michael Kubosh, who attended the rally. “We’ve got to do better than what we’re doing. People are hurting.”

Kubosh said the contract is likely to be approved even though he and other council members would like to see more money put forward from the federal government.

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Davis Land

Davis Land

General Assignments Reporter

Davis Land is a general assignment reporter for Houston Public Media. He cut his teeth at Atlantic Public Media/Transom.org in Woods Hole, MA and at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on various public radio programs and podcasts including Texas Standard, Here and Now, and Marketplace. Davis is a...

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