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Texas Governor Signs $1.6B Hurricane Harvey Relief Bill

hurricane vortexOn Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a $1.6 billion storm and flood resilience plan. Abbott signed the bill Thursday in Houston, which was hit by Hurricane Harvey in two years ago.

“Thanks to the work of the legislature, we are rebuilding Texas stronger and more resilient than ever,” said Governor Abbott, CBC DFW reports. “In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we saw the unshakable spirit of the Lone Star State through the generosity of Texans helping their neighbors. These important pieces of legislation are a symbol of that spirit, as well as a sign of Texas’ commitment to improving the way we respond to natural disasters.”

The legislature also voted to appropriate $3 billion in relief for Harvey-impacted areas from the Rainy Day Fund, and Abbot notes that the storm cleanup and readiness package will mitigate damage from the next catastrophic storm.

“Thanks to the work of the legislature, we are rebuilding Texas stronger and more resilient than ever,” Abbot added. “In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we saw the unshakable spirit of the Lone Star State through the generosity of Texans helping their neighbors. These important pieces of legislation are a symbol of that spirit, as well as a sign of Texas’ commitment to improving the way we respond to natural disasters.”

Nationally, President Donald Trump recently signed a bill which provides $19.1 billion in recovery funds for disaster-affected areas. The Act directs federal agencies to release the $16 billion in disaster funds Congress approved in early 2018 following Hurricane Harvey to different states and territories—including more than $4 billion to Texas—within 60 days.

“After Harvey hit, I fought alongside the Texas delegation to secure additional funds for Harvey survivors,” said U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul. “Unfortunately, the agencies tasked with distributing these funds did not respond with the same urgency.”

According to the Texas Tribune, Texas has already received billions of dollars for Harvey recovery, but each bucket of money is designated for a specific purpose. The $4.3 billion that Congress approved for Texas last February is part of a HUD grant program designed "to help cities, counties, and States recover from Presidentially declared disasters, especially in low-income areas."

The Five Star Conference will host its Disaster Preparedness Symposium on July 31 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Natural disasters impact investors, service providers, mortgage servicers, government agencies, legal professionals, lenders, property preservation companies, and—most importantly—homeowners. The 2019 Five Star Disaster Preparedness Symposium will include critical conversations on response, reaction and assistance, to ensure the industry is ready to lend the proper support the next time a natural disaster strikes.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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