A Successful Community of Disaster Recovery and Mitigation
Ensuring Texans receive disaster recovery and mitigation funding in a timely manner has been and continues to be a top priority of the Texas General Land Office (GLO). The GLO is committed to leveraging these critical recovery dollars quickly and efficiently to help thousands of Texans to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. The GLO is the first state agency to ever partner with FEMA on implementation of temporary housing programs. The GLO helped more than 20,000 families through short-term housing solutions funded by FEMA. Additionally, the State of Texas has received more than $14 billion from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development resulting from multiple hurricanes, flooding events, and wildfires. The GLO has successfully navigated complex federal requirements to assist Texans in need and leverage funding dollars to rebuild communities effectively.
Every day the GLO has worked to help Texans recover. The GLO’s Homeowner Assistance Programs have rebuilt more than 6,000 homes in the past 5 years. Thousands more homes are currently under construction as well as 82 projects accounting for nearly 6,000 affordable rental units to provide homes for local residents. The Affordable Rental Program has already completed 55 of its 82 projects, with nearly all expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
The GLO also launched and successfully completed the state’s first program to reimburse homeowners for repairs they did themselves. The Homeowner Reimbursement Program reimbursed nearly 3,000 Texans with about $86 million in federally-eligible out-of-pocket repair expenses. This innovative program helped Texas families who previously would not have received help with their repairs.
The GLO helped Hurricane Harvey impacted communities build back stronger with $413.4 million in locally-led projects to repair, enhance, and restore infrastructure projects. Additionally, the GLO provided $189 million to local governments to buyout or acquire eligible homes at a pre-storm or post-storm fair market value to move homeowners out of harm’s way to lower-risk areas.
The GLO’s mitigation funding is also benefitting communities across Texas affected by disasters. Through GLO programs, $3,192,142,708 has been allocated for projects in affected communities. In Southeast Texas, the Regional Planning Commission is putting the final touches on its plan for $142,878,000 in regional projects, including $87 million for drainage projects for Jefferson County communities like Beaumont and Port Arthur. In Harris County, more than $1.1 billion has been granted for community projects. The City of Houston received a direct allocation of $61,884,000 from HUD, $117,213,862.96 was granted to other projects Harris County, and Harris County was awarded $750,000,000 from the GLO. Harris County is also using $209,221,800 in disaster recovery funds for more infrastructure projects, as well as the City of Houston recently signed a contract for $11 million to in additional mitigation funds. In total, $1,148,319,662.96 in funds have been invested for mitigation and infrastructure projects within Harris County. In the Coastal Bend, a method of distribution is being developed for $179,547,000 in regional mitigation projects.
The GLO also provided $100 million for additional Hazard Mitigation Grant Program projects and funded programs to update local hazard mitigation plans and modernize building codes and flood damage prevention ordinances to improve community resiliency.
The GLO is also innovating how we become more resilient through tools that will help Texas spend disaster recovery and mitigation funding more effectively. Recently Orange County Judge John Gothia helped the GLO preview the Texas Disaster Information System (TDIS), which is bringing together all of the state’s natural hazard data into a dynamic online system to be useful for state agencies, city planners, first responders, emergency managers and the general public. TDIS a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the GLO, Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) Institute for a Disaster Resilient Texas (IDRT), and the University of Texas (UT), with significant contributions from partners such as Lamar University’s Center for Resiliency.
The GLO is working together with other state and local agencies to make the State of Texas more resilient and rebuild from previous disasters. The GLO’s disaster recovery programs have helped several thousand Texas families rebuild not only their homes, but their lives. The GLO will continue to be there for future generations of Texas families who need help following disasters.