In an official press release from Texas authorities, the state announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $5.024B to those in disadvantaged communities who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. HUD’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR) allocated a significant portion of the grant to Texas communities considered unlikely to repair their communities on their own. This program is a disaster-specific offshoot of a similar program that funds housing and after-school programs for disadvantaged communities.
The grant will go to fix repairs like:
- Damaged homes
- Crippled businesses
- Broken infrastructure deemed critical to the community
The Aid’s First Disbursement Is Just Around the Corner
Texas officials first announced the $5B reward in November 2017. The community looks forward to receiving the first disbursement of funds in March 2018. The grants are supposed to cover 100% of the costs of approved infrastructure and housing projects for both local governments and individual residents.
When deciding on the reward amount, HUD used estimates from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to approximate the total number of severely damaged homes and business that lacked adequate insurance coverage. Under HUD’s analysis, Hurricane Harvey damaged more than 230,000 households; 65,000 of them—more than 25%—are not covered by insurance. Additionally, more than 4,000 business fit under the category of “not covered” under other insurance sources. The HUD grant is designed to cater to the 65,000 homes and 4,000 businesses without insurance coverage. Moreover, the state and local governments are required to spend the majority of these recovery funds in the “most impacted” areas identified by HUD.
Specifically, 80% of the funds (just over $4B) will go to the following counties:
- Fort Bend
- San Patricio
- San Jacinto
This will impact the following zip codes:
How Will the HUD Grant Impact Housing in Texas?
When a CDBG-DR is awarded to a state, the cities of that state must bid for the money, sending in acceptable plans that fall under the stipulations and regulations of CDBG-DR’s. The counties and zip codes mentioned above will request aid from Texas because HUD awarded the CDBG-DR to the state. Once the bids are in, the state will send in the approved plan to HUD, who will then accept the project if it meets requirements.
HUD grants money for all sorts of housing projects. Some of these projects include:
- Rehabilitation projects for damaged households
- Rehabilitation projects for damaged rental units
- New construction of homes
- New construction of rental units
How Can I Receive HUD CDBG-DR Funds?
Currently, the funds are not yet released, and The Texas General Land Office is waiting for HUD to publish rules regarding the appropriation in the Federal Register. Make sure to check for new information as the grant’s disbursement system develops.