Help is on the way for Harvey victims in Houston who have been approved for FEMA assistance.
The Houston City Council has accepted an allocation of up to $424.5 million in FEMA funds for direct housing assistance -- and has approved an inter-local agreement with the Texas General Land Office, which administers the funds at the state level.
Houston's Housing and Community Development Department will play a lead role in implementing the housing assistance programs, the first of which will be FEMA’s Direct Assistance for Limited Home Repair program.
HCDD Director Tom McCasland says: “My team will be working through the holidays to ensure we have hammers swinging (on the home repair program) by the second week in January.”
The City Council will also greenlight the appropriation of funds and at the awarding of contracts for single-family home rehabilitation, reconstruction and new construction services related to the Direct Assistance for Limited Home Repair program -- which will provide permanent repairs to homes with significant damage for homeowners who applied for FEMA funding prior to the deadline.
FEMA will be responsible for determining eligibility for applicants on a case-by-case basis, prioritizing homeowners who have exhausted all other forms of housing assistance.
Harvey survivors without alternative housing options or cost-effective solutions will also be given preference.
The city says additional programs are forthcoming.
FEMA’s direct temporary housing assistance program allows funding to be used for leasing and repair of multifamily properties, direct leasing of typically unavailable properties like corporate lodging, and manufactured homes and recreational vehicles.
For information on disaster recovery, assistance and available programs, visit www.houstonrecovers.org and www.houstontx.gov/housing.