For victims of Hurricane Harvey, recovery remains an ongoing process. Homes that were inundated with floodwaters are still in the process of being rebuilt, and property owners are still looking for answers from the city about how the flooding happened. Although recovery has been slow, one huge step has been completed as the city of Houston and Harris County complete a comment period on Hurricane Harvey Recovery plans.
There are currently plans to use approximately $2.3 billion in federal housing funds to help residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. The city of Houston will use $1.1 billion for recovery, and Harris County will use the remaining $1.2 million. These plans still need to be approved by the federal government, but once in place, the plans will provide the necessary funds for Houston to recover.
How The Money Will Be Utilized
Harris County has released a proposal for how the $1.2 billion will be used for recovery and prevention. The County’s proposal includes:
$222 million for an affordable rent program
$211 million for the Harris County Homeowner Assistance Program
$209 million in local infrastructure improvements
$200 million for home buyouts
$115 million for new single-family home construction
$55 million for local planning
$16 million in program administration costs
$15 million for a homeowner reimbursement program
$7.5 million for a homelessness prevention program
The City of Houston focused its proposal on rebuilding homes, and has divided its $1.1 billion accordingly:
$600 million for repairing or building single family homes
$375 million for repairing or building apartments
Unanswered Questions From Hurricane Harvey Victims
While federal aid will help the city rebuild and recover, the proposals don’t address the unanswered questions from the thousands of property owners affected by the Addicks and Barker reservoir releases. Many property owners learned their homes were built in a floodplain only once Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall caused their homes to flood. Homeowners downstream of the reservoirs also want to know how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will compensate them for homes destroyed by the Army Corps’ decision to begin controlled releases from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.