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 »
Say, Mr. President, could we ask you for a favor? Not a big favor, just one phone call. Get your buddy Mick Mulvaney on the line and tell him to cut some red tape for us.
Houston and Harris County each would receive more than $1 billion under Texas' first major Hurricane Harvey recovery spending plan, but relief remains far off for residents in need of housing help. The state intends to send roughly half of its initial $5 billion in Harvey aid to Houston and Harris County, according to the draft document released Tuesday.
Congress approved the U.S. Housing and Urban Development funding last year, but it’s just now being released to Harvey-hit areas in the form of CDBGs. Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has come under criticism for what some saw as unnecessary delays in distributing Harvey relief funds. Earlier this year, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner publicly criticized Bush for what he called a lack of cooperation and inclusiveness. The General Land Office said HUD didn’t provide guidance on how this money could be used until February. Now, the GLO said after a March meeting with federal HUD officials and representatives from Houston and Harris County, an action plan is in place to distribute the $5 billion.
Mayor Sylvester Turner urged members of Congress on Monday to support the construction of a third reservoir to protect the region from flooding and back Houston’s request that federal government accept volunteer hours in lieu of payment for disaster grants. Turner joined local and federal officials in Cypress to testify before members of the House Homeland Security Committee, who were in town for a field hearing on Hurricane Harvey.
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.