Tag Archive for: Rebuilding

Harvey Repair, Rebuild Assistance Still Available for Harris County Residents

Assistance is still available for those who live in Harris County if you have not yet repaired or rebuilt your home damaged in Hurricane Harvey. Applications are NOT for reimbursement.

They are for repairs and rehab handled through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contractors, that meet HUD specs. So forget about marble floors and countertops, adding garages or extra bedrooms, or upgrading to top-of-the-line appliances.

As long as you live in Harris County and you meet the requirements, you can still submit an application. However, understand that Harris County (compared to the City) has far more funding available than applications in its pipeline. Also understand that you can apply through the Texas General Land Office (GLO), which now handles applications for HUD; you don’t need to go through the City or County directly.

Lloyd Nelms and family receive the keys to a rebuilt home.

Types of Help Available

The GLO can provide homeowner assistance through:

  • Repairing and rehabilitating homes
  • Reconstruction
  • Improving a damaged home so that it is more resilient against natural disasters
  • Elevating homes above flood level

How to Apply

How and where to apply depends on whether you live inside the City of Houston or out.

If you live in Harris County but OUTSIDE the City of Houston:
  1. Apply online here.
  2. Download and complete a paper application below. Applications can be submitted by email at harriscounty.glo@recovery.texas.gov or mail to Homeowner Assistance Program 2100 Space Park Drive, Suite 104, Houston, TX 77058. 
  3. Call 346-222-4686 or 1-866-317-1998 (toll free) and a regional office team member will assist with the application process.
If you live in Harris and are INSIDE the City of Houston:

This page explains all the necessary steps and documents: https://recovery.texas.gov/hap/houston. You also have three easy options.

  1. Apply online here.
  2. Download and complete a paper application below. Applications can be submitted by email at houston.glo@recovery.texas.gov or mail to Homeowner Assistance Program 2100 Space Park Drive, Suite 104, Houston, TX 77058. 
  3. Call 346-222-4686 or 1-866-317-1998 (toll free) and a regional office team member will assist with the application process.

All Documents Necessary Before Apps Will Be Processed

Applications, including all necessary documentation, must be completed and submitted BEFORE the GLO and its partners will begin processing it for eligibility. Each application submitted must be individually evaluated to determine eligibility. Please use this checklist for reference whether you live inside or outside of the City.

Without enough qualified applicants, GLO will be forced to send the money back to Washington. So hurry, before the money goes away or runs out.

What to Expect

Potential applicants can watch this video about What to Expect.

The GLO created this video about homeowners who received assistance through this program. Here’s another showing a homeowner who just received keys to a rebuilt home.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/15/2021

1295 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Dawn of a New Day for the Lake Houston Area

This morning, Dr. Charles Campbell, shared a spectacularly beautiful and inspiring photograph with me. He took it right here in Kingwood. It symbolizes all the hope and promise of a new day, maybe even a new year. Dr. Campbell jogs every morning at sunrise in East End Park where he took this shot.

Sunrise over Lake Houston from Kingwood’s East End Park at Otter Point. Photo courtesy of Dr. Charles Campbell. 

Reconstruction to Date

As I lost myself in this photo, I reflected on the progress our dynamic community has made this year.

  • Most people have rebuilt from Hurricane Harvey or are at least close to completion.
  • Most businesses have returned.
  • Kingwood College should completely re-open in January with $60 million of renovations and new construction.
  • Kingwood High School also received an estimated $60 million makeover and update.
  • Memorial Hermann opened a new 45,000 square foot Convenient Care Center in the heart of Town Center.

Flood Mitigation Progress

And to help prevent a repeat of Harvey:

  • The Army Corps of Engineers has started a $67 million dredging project which it hopes to complete by next April.
  • City, County, State and Federal leaders have rallied to urge FEMA and the Corps to extend the project past the mouth of the river. Both of these projects should help move water through the river faster.
  • Mayor Turner has promised to add 10 new flood gates to the Lake Houston dam. This will help shed water to Galveston Bay faster in future storms.
  • Harris County voters approved a historic $2.5 billion Flood Bond. It includes money that will help build the gates  and dredge the river on an ongoing basis.
  • The bond package also includes money to help build additional upstream detention. That will hold water upstream in future flood events.
  •  The SJRA adopted a policy of seasonally lowering Lake Conroe during the peak of spring rains and the Hurricane Season. They will hopefully continue this until other mitigation measures are in place. This helps give us an additional buffer against giant storms.
  • The City of Houston adopted a policy of lowering Lake Houston, also in anticipation of major storms. Again, this gives the lake extra capacity to absorb more runoff before the river is forced out of its banks. This also is a temporary measure until other mitigation measures are completed.
  • Government buyouts of repeatedly flood-ravaged homes have already commenced.
  • The county is also buying out properties below the Lake Houston dam in anticipation of higher flow rates once additional gates are installed.
  • Harris County has purchased floodway property and will convert it to new parks. Construction on Edgewater Park will begin next year and create a second boat launch for area residents.
  • The City passed a new ordinance requiring homes to be built 2 feet above the 500-year flood plain.
  • TexDoT completely reconstructed and strengthened the I-69 southbound lanes.
  • The County and the Corps are starting to open up ditches like the one at River Grove that drains the western third of Kingwood.

Dredging has reached the side bar and up into the drainage ditch at River Grove past the boat dock. Photo Courtesy of Dave Seitzinger.

New Day for the Community That Refused to Quit

Clearly, we have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas. But as I look back, the thing I am most thankful for is that the people of this community chose not to ignore flood issues. We addressed them head on. As a result, our our homes, health and future will be much safer.

When I moved to Texas almost 40 years ago, I fell in love with the can-do attitude of Texans.

Tell a Texan something can’t be done and he’ll show you how.

Tell a Texan it’s hopeless and she’ll tell you to get out of her way.

And among Texans, few embody this spirit more than Houstonians, especially those in the Lake Houston area.

Posted by Bob Rehak on December 5, 2018

463 days since Hurricane Harvey