Hurricane Harvey inundated America’s 4th largest city with over 50 inches of rain and impacted more than 300,000 housing units in Houston alone. More homes flooded in Houston during Hurricane Harvey than in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina or New York City during Hurricane Sandy. This is the third year in a row that Houston has experienced severe flooding resulting in a Presidentially declared disaster.
By itself, Harvey represents the largest housing disaster in American history, and we cannot effectively recover without federal support. This website outlines our requests of the federal government for members of the Administration, Congress and their staff, the media and the public.
Houston has come to the aid of other Gulf Coast communities in their time of need and represents an essential hub for American energy, medical treatment, shipping, aerospace, and trade. Working with our Congressional delegation, we need the federal government to come to our aide to help build a more resilient city that has learned the lessons of Harvey. Without flood mitigation, rebuilding dollars are just funding for future failure.
I invite you to read through this site and contact my Office of Government Relations with any questions.
A decade after Hurricane Ike devastated the Texas Gulf Coast, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Friday that a more ambitious version of the proposed “Ike Dike” — a 70-mile-long coastal barrier that could cost as much as $31 billion — is the preferred choice for protecting the state’s coastline from future storm surges.
When the city revised its estimate based on Civis’s analysis, it found that unmet housing needs actually amounted to some $3 billion. That means the $1.15 billion Houston received as part of a $5 billion aid package to Texas from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development isn’t nearly enough to cover what residents lost in the storm. And that’s why the city is now trying to ensure the limited funds will actually go to the most vulnerable.
This approach results in a severe underestimation of need: It fails to capture people who do not know to apply, or cannot, or whose properties sustained damage that FEMA doesn’t recognize. So Houston HCD, in November, issued a request for proposals, calling for a new, data-driven approach to identifying and quantifying need after a disaster like Harvey strikes.
An estimated 130,000 Houstonians affected by Harvey were overlooked in the city’s original housing needs assessment, according to the Houston Housing and Community Development Department. To fix the previously neglected damage, the city needs an extra $2 billion in federal resources, the agency said in an Oct. 5 report.
Houston, known as the Bayou City, is no stranger to flooding. But the record-breaking rains and devastating deluge of Hurricane Harvey helped expose a disconnect between developers building on flood-vulnerable land and home buyers who might not have realized the risk.