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State House Committee Hears Concerns About Harvey Housing Recovery

Local officials say Harvey victims could get into a new home a lot quicker if the federal government changed its rules on housing recovery funds.

Houston Representative Garnet Coleman presided over a hearing of the House Committee on County Affairs.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council distributes federal funds for the 13-county region.

Appearing before the House Committee on County Affairs, H-GAC’s Chuck Wemple said they’d like to use more recovery funds to get people into permanent housing but FEMA only allows for temporary housing.

“And that is something that we think we should look at long-term,” said Wemple. “Is finding a way to match up that mission with FEMA that doesn’t allow for permanent housing but only temporary housing, and the HUD mission to be able to develop this type of housing to where it can be implemented quickly.”

Wemple added that change would have many benefits.

“It would save money, it would get people back in their homes, and it would help communities recover much quicker if we could look at a solution like that,” explained Wemple.

H-GAC is currently working on a plan for distributing Harvey recovery funds in the Houston region. Wemple said they hope to approve a final plan in July and then submit it to the state.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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