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 »
Houston and other Texas cities hit hard by Harvey a year ago have made significant progress recuperating from the worst rainstorm in United States history. The piles of debris — nearly 13 million cubic yards of it — are long gone, and many residents are back in their refurbished homes. Billions of dollars in federal aid and donations have helped Texans repair, rebuild and recover. But this is not uniformly the case, and the exceptions trace a disturbing path of income and race across a state where those dividing lines are often easy to see.
In an effort to discuss recovery and resilience with residents, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Councilman Greg Travis are touring a west Houston neighborhood that was impacted by Hurricane Harvey. This is Mayor Turner's second weekend visiting Houstonians to hear their Harvey recovery experiences.
Federal officials have agreed to count volunteer work hours and donated materials toward the local match required for disaster recovery grants to repair streets, buildings, utilities, parks and other public facilities — a national policy change, initiated in Houston, that could save local governments tens of millions of dollars.
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.
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.