Hurricane Harvey

Harris County Holds Events To Inform About Harvey Damage And Get Input From Residents

Officials want feedback looking forward to $1 billion in federal funding through HUD

The Harris County Community Services Department is launching a series of public events to inform residents about the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and request their input on the recovery process.

The Harris County Community Services Department is launching a series of public events Wednesday to inform residents about the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, and request their input on the recovery process, given that the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) will allocate $1 billion in hurricane recovery funding to the county.

Specifically, the funds will amount to $1.115 billion and HUD will provide them to the county through the Texas General Land Office.

The events, which will take place through June 14, are for residents who live within the borders of Harris County, but outside the limits of the city of Houston.

According to the Harris County Community Services Department, data compiled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicate that the verified losses –combining home damage and loss of personal property— exceed $560 million in Harris County, excluding the city of Houston.

The federal funding will be used with various goals, such as street repair, drainage and elevation projects, disaster assistance and home buyouts, as well as home repairs.

In that regard, Daphne Lemelle, Community Development director at the Harris County Community Services Department, noted that even though Harvey hit the Houston region more than half a year ago, “a lot of folks who were affected by Harvey did not have flood insurance.”

“They’ve done the best they can over the last few months to put together their homes, some of them are still displaced, so this funding will be made available for those homeowners who did not have resources to repair their homes to begin that repair process,” Lemelle added.

Lemelle explained the events will feature “a series of booths and tables basically talking about what did Harvey do to your community, you know, what did Harvey do to Harris County, how many homes were affected, what kind of flooding damage did we have, you know, what is the real unmet need based on the data we’ve collected to date.”

Lemelle underlined one of the main objectives of the events is to receive input from the residents about damage they sustained and also on their ideas and suggestions to improve, for instance, flood mitigation. “It’s really going to be an open house where we wanna talk to everyone who comes through.”

Due to the protocols that must be followed with federal government, Lemelle specified that, initially, the county anticipates it will receive the funding around October or November.

You can visit the website Harrisrecovery.org to see the list of public events with their dates and locations. The first event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday May 30 at 4:30 p.m. at the Crosby Community Center.

 

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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