Tag Archive for: extension

GLO, City of Houston Agree to 30-Day Extension While They Work Out New Contract for Harvey Relief

George P. Bush, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office (GLO), announced a 30-day extension of a deadline for renegotiating its contract with the City of Houston for a variety of Harvey Recovery Programs. The new contract would let the City keep some of the programs it had been working on while returning others to the GLO.

By tag-teaming remaining work, GLO hopes to expend all available funds before HUD pulls back unspent money out of the $1.3 billion it allocated for aid within the City.

Origin of Conflict Affecting Aid Recipients

Houston and GLO have fought for months over the speed of the City’s handling of aid applications.

  • GLO worries about the slow rate of City’s progress and whether the City can meet HUD deadlines.
  • The City, on the other hand, keeps insisting it is about to speed up as it falls farther behind.

When HUD attempted to pull the programs away from the City, the City filed a lawsuit to prevent that. At stake: millions in management fees for the City and hundreds of millions in aid for Harvey victims.

Last month, Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin hinted that changes could be in the wind, but refused to release details until HUD and the GLO approved them.

Homeowners Worry About Cloud Over Programs

Meanwhile the cloud hanging over the programs worries thousands of homeowners who:

  • Qualified for aid but were not invited to submit an application
  • Have not been notified of their application’s status
  • Can’t get phone calls or emails returned from the City.

As of November 3, 2020, the City reports $776 million in available funds not yet committed for projects.

Note gray bar on left of circle. The City kicked off this program in January of 2019. From City of Houston Transparency site.

Only 82 Reimbursement Checks Written Since Harvey

Three years after Harvey, the City reports it has issued only 82 reimbursement checks to homeowners for a total of $1.4 million. Either that number has not changed or the City has not updated it since October 23rd when I last posted on this subject. Neither has City updated the number of applications in its “pipeline” since August 31, 2020.

The GLO/CoH contract extension will let both sides work out a new plan that doesn’t leave disaster victims in limbo.

Statement from GLO Commissioner Bush

Commissioner Bush said: “The GLO has preliminarily agreed on the framework of an agreement with the City of Houston in the effort to help Houstonians recover from the worst natural disaster in our state’s history. The GLO has agreed to extend the current deadline for termination of the existing contract to better facilitate completion of this new agreement.” 

Bush added, “The GLO’s focus continues to be making significant progress in putting federal dollars to work for the people of Houston. The GLO remains committed to helping Houston residents who are still in need of assistance with repair or reconstruction as well as moving other programs forward to successful completion within HUD’s mandatory timeline.”

GLO Still Taking Applications for Homeowner Assistance Program

In the meantime, the GLO will continue to operate the Homeowner Assistance Program to rebuild single family homes for Houston homeowners still needing assistance related to damage from Hurricane Harvey. Houston homeowners with a remaining Hurricane Harvey Housing need may find more information and apply at recovery.texas.gov/hap/houston.

Photo by Camille Pagel. Her children helped gut the kitchen instead of going to school after the Harvey flood.

GLO established the site above to help Harvey victims who have not yet submitted applications. Those who previously submitted applications which have become lost in space should call the numbers listed on the GLO site to determine their best course of action.

Note: the extension above affects contract negotiations between the City and GLO. It does not affect program deadlines.

Full Text of Interim Operations Agreement Between City, GLO

Neither Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, nor Mayor Pro Tem Martin, has yet released a statement on this subject. But ReduceFlooding.com has obtained a copy of the interim operations agreement signed by Mayor Turner and Deputy Land Commissioner Mark A. Havens. This determines how both sides will move forward in the next month.

Overview: Who’s Doing What in Next Month

During the Extension Period which ends on December 6, 2020, the GLO will let the City continue administering funds under the:

  • Homeowner Assistance Program on applications approved by the GLO on or before October 6, 2020
  • Multifamily Rental Program and Public Service Program for projects approved on or before October 6, 2020

During the Extension Period, the GLO will also let the City:

  • Operate the Homebuyer Assistance Program
  • Spend project delivery funds under the Single-Family Development Program, Small Rental Program, Buyout Program, and Economic Revitalization Program.
  • Use $15 million for Administration

Other Terms of Interim Agreement

As part of the settlement, the City must:

  • Provide the GLO with copies of all program information in its possession including applicant data and project files.
  • Dismiss its lawsuit with prejudice, including all related appeals.

Dismissing a lawsuit with prejudice would forbid the City from refiling its suit in the future. For other terms and conditions, see the full text of the proposed agreement.

Posted by Bob Rehak on November 3, 2020

1163 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Governor Abbott Extends Hurricane Harvey Disaster Declaration

Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott extended the disaster declaration for the 60 counties affected by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The extension enables government agencies to work together under special rules designed to enable mitigation efforts and speed them up. See the wording in the third paragraph from the bottom. Below is the exact text of the Governor’s press release:

Governor Greg Abbott Extended The State Disaster Declaration In January For Texas Counties Affected By Hurricane Harvey

January 18, 2019 | Austin, Texas | Proclamation


WHEREAS, I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of the State of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on August 23, 2017, certifying that Hurricane Harvey posed a threat of imminent disaster for Aransas, Austin, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Harris, Jackson, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Waller, Wharton and Wilson counties; and

WHEREAS, the disaster proclamation of August 23, 2017, was subsequently amended on August 26, August 27, August 28 and September 14 to add the following counties to the disaster proclamation: Angelina, Atascosa, Bastrop, Bexar, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Cameron, Comal, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Jasper, Kerr, Lee, Leon, Madison, Milam, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Washington and Willacy; and

WHEREAS, on September 20, 2017, and in each subsequent month effective through today, I issued proclamations renewing the disaster declaration for all counties listed above; and

WHEREAS, due to the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, a state of disaster continues to exist in those same counties;

NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code, I do hereby renew the disaster proclamation for the 60 counties listed above.

Pursuant to Section 418.017 of the code, I authorize the use of all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions that are reasonably necessary to cope with this disaster.

Pursuant to Section 418.016 of the code, any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or any order or rule of a state agency that would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster shall be suspended upon written approval of the Office of the Governor. However, to the extent that the enforcement of any state statute or administrative rule regarding contracting or procurement would impede any state agency’s emergency response that is necessary to protect life or property threatened by this declared disaster, I hereby authorize the suspension of such statutes and rules for the duration of this declared disaster.

In accordance with the statutory requirements, copies of this proclamation shall be filed with the applicable authorities.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 18th day of January, 2019. 


To view a PDF of the signed document, click here.

Posted by Bob Rehak on January 22, 2019

511 Days since Hurricane Harvey