City of Houston PostHarvey

Dear Houstonians,

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.


Sylvester Turner

Our Requests

Community Disaster Loans

Community Disaster Loans are designed to replace lost revenue, cover unreimbursed disaster-related expenses, and enable local governments to continue providing essential services including police and fire protection, trash removal, street and sewer repairs, and building permits and inspections. With a $5 million cap, however, the loans will do little for the millions and millions of dollars in unbudgeted expenses incurred by the City of Houston due to Harvey. The federal government should lift the cap and open access to Texas cities. Read More »

Volunteer Match Program

As you know, Texans’ willingness to step up and help a neighbor was a recurring story through the devastating floods of Hurricane Harvey last August. Houstonians were outstanding examples of volunteerism, from manning rescue boats to working in shelters and helping to clean out flooded homes. Volunteer hours logged in response to the storm would typically be accepted as local match for FEMA Categories A and B (debris removal and emergency protective measures). The City of Houston is proposing that it be allowed to continue tracking Harvey-related volunteer hours as match against categories C-G. Read More »

Quick Facts

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Houston-area congressmen urge FEMA to accept volunteer hours as payment

Five Houston-area congressmen are urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to accept Houston's idea of using volunteer hours as an alternate way to pay the city's required local match for federal disaster grants. The letter sent Tuesday to FEMA Administrator Brock Long is signed by U.S. Reps. John Culberson (R-Houston), Brian Babin (R-Woodville), Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land), Gene Green (D-Houston) and Al Green (D-Houston).

Houston Chronicle • 3/16/18

Gov. Abbott announces San Jacinto River flood relief

Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday pledged millions of dollars for widespread property buyouts and preparations for dredging the San Jacinto River to help Lake Houston communities prevent a recurrence of the catastrophic flooding during Hurricane Harvey. After touring the region by helicopter, the governor met with area leaders at a Kingwood community center, where he announced plans for voluntary buyouts of some 900 flood-prone homes in Harris County, including 134 in Kingwood and nearby Forest Cove. The county flood control district said the buyouts would cost about $180 million.

Houston Chronicle • 3/15/18

Houston launches Harvey volunteer program aimed at reducing FEMA obligations

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a Hurricane Harvey relief initiative Friday aimed at recruiting and coordinating volunteers whose donated hours potentially could be counted toward the local match Houston must pay to receive federal disaster grants. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has yet to confirm that it would accept volunteer work in lieu of monetary payment in the categories of disaster recovery to which Houston hopes to apply it.

Houston Chronicle • 2/23/18

Turner, Emmett want $200 million from Texas to repair damaged bayous

County Judge Ed Emmett and Mayor Sylvester Turner are asking the state of Texas to advance Harris County and Houston $200 million to pay for damage to local bayous and detention basins incurred during Hurricane Harvey. Officials already were working on repairs to the Harris County Flood Control District's infrastructure when Harvey hit.

Houston Chronicle • 2/14/18


Can Houston prevent disaster when the next storm comes?

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.

PBS Newshour

Making Houston Stronger: A Town Hall

KPRC2 brought you an in-depth discussion with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett about the lessons we've learned and what's being done to protect the Houston area from another flood catastrophe.


Supporting Documents

descriptionChapter 19 Floodplain Data Analysis3/16/18 descriptionLetter from Congressional Delegation Supporting Volunteer Match3/14/18 descriptionLetter from Judge Emmett to Commissioner Bush re: Recovery Plan3/13/18 descriptionLetter from Mayor Turner to Commissioner Bush re: Recovery Plan3/8/18 descriptionMemo on Requirement of GLO to Consult Local Governments3/8/18 descriptionMcCasland Letter to GLO Director re: Recovery Action Plan3/2/18 descriptionPresentation to City Council2/14/18 descriptionUpdate on Housing Damage2/9/18 descriptionBreakdown of Congressional Deal2/9/18 descriptionNotice of Funding Availability for CDBG-DR Funds2/9/18 descriptionH.R 1892, Bipartisan Budget Act2/9/18 descriptionSenate Appropriations Summary2/6/18 descriptionHurricane Harvey: Fiscal Analyses and Resources1/30/18 descriptionMayor's Request to HUD on Technical Assistance1/28/18 descriptionPresentation to House General Investigations and Ethics Committee1/18/18 descriptionTurner/Emmett Letter on Case Management1/17/18 picture_as_pdfMayor Turner to Governor on Kingwood12/14/17 picture_as_pdfEFF & KFF Harvey Survey12/01/17 picture_as_pdfMayor Sylvester Turner Letter to Governor Abbott12/17/17 picture_as_pdfMarvin Odom Letter to Alex Amparo11/30/17 picture_as_pdfMayor Sylvester Turner Letter to Administrator Brock Long and Secretary Ben Carson11/28/17 picture_as_pdfKinder Institute: Harvey Relief and Recovery Funding Primer11/27/17 descriptionCity of Houston Priorities for Federal Harvey Disaster Funding11/15/17 picture_as_pdfMemo: Hurricane Harvey Impact on Housing Units11/09/17 descriptionRebuild Texas Request for Federal Assistance10/31/17 descriptionBreakdown of Federal Funds Appropriated10/30/17 picture_as_pdfCDBG DR2015 Project Status Update10/24/17 descriptionMayor Sylvester Turner Letter to Appropriations Committee Requesting Rainy Day Funds10/02/17 descriptionSolid Waste Disposal Fees Account No. 5000 Facts09/28/17 descriptionState Cost Sharing Comparison09/26/17 picture_as_pdfMayor Sylvester Turner Letter to Governor Abbott Requesting Rainy Day Funds09/25/17 picture_as_pdfCornyn Delegation Letter to Secretary Carson Requesting Allocation of CDBG-DR Funds09/21/17 descriptionMayor Sylvester Turner Letter Naming Marvin Odum Chief Recovery Officer09/15/17 picture_as_pdfHCDD Disaster Recovery Federal/State Fund Allocation Overview09/13/17 picture_as_pdfMayor Sylvester Turner Letter to Governor Abbott Seeking CDBG-DR Funds09/06/17 picture_as_pdfMayor Sylvester Turner Letter to Governor Abbott Detailing Harvey Relief Priorities and Requests09/04/17 picture_as_pdfMayor Sylvester Turner Letter to Administrator Long Requesting FEMA Assistance09/01/17