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.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has designated $5 billion in CDBG-DR funds specifically for mitigation from the third supplemental appropriations bill to go to Texas. The City of Houston has major mitigation projects ready to go that will save lives and protect property when the next storm hits – but we need to get working on these projects as soon as possible. HUD can speed up this process by a direct allocation of at least $1.2 billion to the City of Houston. The City of Houston is ready to received these funds, and there is precedent for this decision. Read More »
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 »
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced July 5 how it will allocate billions of dollars for more flood-mitigation efforts. Of the allocations announced July 5, the largest portion is more than $13.9 billion for the construction of nearly 60 projects to reduce damage from floods and storms across multiple states and Puerto Rico. Texas projects account for nearly $4.88 billion
“It’s just a reminder for us that there’s still a lot of work that we need to do,” said Rob Lazaro, a spokesperson for the Harris County Flood Control District. “A lot of our efforts are still in recovery and emergency repair. The overall watershed improvements that folks are looking for — those, for the most part, have not occurred. They can take years to build.”
Houston City Council has approved a plan to direct how the first long-term federal housing aid headed this way after Hurricane Harvey will be spent, targeting $600 million to repair or build single-family homes and $375 million to fix or construct apartments. The action plan is a key step in the city’s effort to draw on $1.15 billion in federal housing aid, part of the $5 billion allocated to Texas from Congress’ first hurricane-related appropriation last fall.
Houston will soon receive more than $1 billion in long-term housing aid to recover after Hurricane Harvey. That's a staggering figure that represents roughly half of the city's annual general fund budget, but, according to FEMA's own figures, it isn't nearly enough.
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.