Congress approved the U.S. Housing and Urban Development funding last year, but it’s just now being released to Harvey-hit areas in the form of CDBGs. Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has come under criticism for what some saw as unnecessary delays in distributing Harvey relief funds. Earlier this year, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner publicly criticized Bush for what he called a lack of cooperation and inclusiveness. The General Land Office said HUD didn’t provide guidance on how this money could be used until February. Now, the GLO said after a March meeting with federal HUD officials and representatives from Houston and Harris County, an action plan is in place to distribute the $5 billion.
“The impact of Hurricane Harvey continues to disrupt the lives of so many Texans,” Bush said. “As we continue the long-term recovery process, the GLO’s Community Development and Revitalization team continues to work with local officials in all 49 affected counties to expedite the release of disaster recovery funds. Through the utilization of innovative recovery programs, we are positioning Texas for a more comprehensive recovery that will truly help rebuild.”
The meeting resulted in Harris County and Houston getting grants of $1.115 billion each. The rest of the money will be distributed to other counties affected by Harvey.
The bulk of the funds will go to homeowners who need assistance with rebuilding. Other grants include money for home buyouts, affordable rental housing, infrastructure repairs, and economic revitalization.
Meanwhile, Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that Texas will receive another allocation from HUD of an additional $5.03 billion for disaster relief.
NEW: MORE money is coming to Texas to help rebuild from #HurricaneHarvey. This $4.7 billion is on top of the $5 billion Texas just received. This will help rebuild homes & build infrastructure to reduce future floods. #txlege #TexasStrong #RebuildTexas https://t.co/o4nJtobQAW
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 10, 2018
.@txglo Cmr. @georgepbush announces publication of State Action Plan for $5B in #HurricaneHarvey housing infrastructure and economic recovery funding for public comment. For more info visit https://t.co/Dr8iCTNtnB pic.twitter.com/7WrochuvAg
— TXGeneralLandOffice (@txglo) April 10, 2018