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HUD Reaffirms Its Commitment to Hurricane Harvey Recovery

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a grant of $652 million to help Texas in its efforts to recover from the effect of 2017's Hurricane Harvey on the state's housing and infrastructure.

This grant supports the $5 billion in disaster recovery that was approved by HUD in June 2018. On its part, Texas has submitted its latest recovery plan for HUD's review. The plan primarily focuses on the restoration of damaged and destroyed homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

According to the latest plan submitted to HUD, the bulk of the $652 million, will go towards program-related funds allocated to the State of Texas administered programs. Around $200 million will be allocated to the Affordable Rental Program. Around $236 million will be allocated towards the state-run Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP), while around $4.4 million is allocated to Housing Program Project Delivery.

The additional funding allocated to HAP increases total funding for the program to around $1.3 billion to help meet owner-occupied housing's unmet need, the plan submitted by the state indicated.

“Today, we’re taking another important step along the path to recovery for hard-hit areas in East Texas,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “HUD is committed to working alongside Texans to rebuild their homes, restore their businesses and repair their critical infrastructure.”

The Texas General Land Office (GLO) estimates the cost of damages from Hurricane Harvey at $120 billion, making it the costliest event in U.S. history. The hurricane shut down ports, trade, tourism, oil and gas production, agricultural production, and general businesses across most of the Texas coast, for almost a week and, in some cases, significantly longer.

"I am grateful to Secretary Carson for his tremendous partnership throughout the recovery and ongoing rebuilding process and for his leadership from the very beginning," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. "With these funds, Texas will do more than rebuild. We will rebuild our communities stronger and more resilient than before."

According to the GLO, over a million homes were impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Texas is projected to spend more than $2.6 billion on response and recovery.

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.
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