Cmr. George P. Bush releases "Hurricane Harvey: Texas at Risk"
Provides 18 recommendations for improving housing recovery process and mitigation
AUSTIN — Today Texas Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush released a new report capturing lessons learned from the Hurricane Harvey housing assistance mission and making recommendations for how to improve both response and resiliency in future disasters. The report, title Hurricane Harvey: Texas At Risk, makes 18 policy recommendations at all levels of government with the primary objective of better protecting Texans in advance of the next disaster and improving subsequent recovery efforts.
"Preparedness and mitigation are the best remedies to address the threats posed by natural disasters," said Commissioner Bush. "As the first state agency in Texas history to partner with FEMA on the short-term housing mission, as well as the designated lead for long-term CDBG-DR administration, the GLO has been uniquely positioned to identify and assess issues that hinder housing recovery efforts. I appreciate the local, state and federal officials who contributed their candor and expertise to the drafting of these recommendations which provides a comprehensive roadmap for innovating flood mitigation and making recovery more expeditious and cost effective in the future."
The report emphasizes policy proposals focused on protecting homes and businesses against future disaster risk. It also offers recommendations that Texas State Legislators and Members of Congress can implement through legislative changes to existing laws. At legislative hearings and briefings with elected leaders, Commissioner Bush and GLO staff were frequently asked what could be done to improve the process of post-disaster housing assistance.
"Throughout the past year since Hurricane Harvey struck, my team and I logged more than 350 visits, briefings and other events throughout the affected area speaking with community leaders and updating officials at legislative hearings," said Commissioner Bush. "With the release of this report, my goal is to capitalize on lessons learned to provide well-researched recommendations for how to achieve more efficient and prudent use of our taxpayer-funded recovery resources."
Here is an outline of the recommendations, which are described in much more depth in the body of the report:
Texas State and Local Government Reforms:
Engaging the Business Community
Texas River Systems Flood Control Mitigation
Establish a Permanent Training Center for Disaster Mitigation and Recovery
Improving the Texas Building Code System
State Support for Building Code Enforcement and Disaster Recovery:
Accelerated Housing Buyback Programs
Land Acquisition Programs
Private Disaster Philanthropy
Federal Government Recommendations:
FEMA Block Grant for Temporary Housing
Develop Pre-Event Contracting for Temporary Housing Recovery
Federal Contracting Regulatory Relief After Disasters
Consolidating FEMA Housing and Increasing Flexibility
Innovative Solutions and New Housing Technologies
Consolidation of Disaster Housing Programs into One Federal Agency or Department
Revisions to the U.S. Government's Privacy Act of 1974
HUD Community Development Block Grants Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)
Infrastructure Solutions to Protecting the Texas Coast
To access the full report, please visit http://www.glo.texas.gov/recovery/files/texas-at-risk-report.pdf.
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