Commissioner Dawn Buckingham Meets with Harris County and City of Houston Leaders to Discuss Future of Disaster Recovery Funding and How to Best Serve Houstonians
AUSTIN — AUSTIN – Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, M.D., continues her proactive outreach to elected members of Harris County, City of Houston, and the Texas Legislature regarding the Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery mission. Additionally, the Commissioner appeared before a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, to further discuss the state’s disaster recovery efforts as well as other Texas General Land Office (GLO) priorities. The entities will continue to discuss the best path forward for utilizing funds that have yet to be used for specific disaster recovery projects.
“My goal is simple – to serve the people we are supposed to serve and do it well,” said Commissioner Buckingham. “My priority has always been to have open communications between local and state officials. It is essential that we work together to ensure remaining unspent disaster recovery funds are used to benefit the people of Harris County and Houston efficiently and effectively.”
Following the Senate Finance Committee hearing, Commissioner Buckingham welcomed Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to the GLO in Austin. The two leaders met to discuss the current progress of Houston-administered Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The GLO has rebuilt more than 10,000 homes for homeowners and renters in Texas combined. In all 49 Hurricane Harvey affected counties, the GLO has rebuilt more than 6,500 homes for Texas families. To date, the GLO has rebuilt approximately 1,000 homes in Houston and Harris County with another 1,000 under construction or beginning the construction process.
The home rebuilding program administered by the GLO has also assisted the poorest Texans who are the most in need, have significantly outperformed federal requirements. HUD requires at least 70% of all funds to benefit low-to-moderate-income families, which the GLO surpassed by awarding 80% to this demographic in the home rebuilding program.
“I am proud to say that no other state or territory has performed like Texas in the recovery from Harvey,” said Buckingham. “Texas has distributed nearly $1 billion more disaster recovery dollars to real people and families in need than Florida, Puerto Rico, California, Georgia, Missouri, and the Virgin Islands combined.”
While the funds are allocated to benefit the City of Houston, HUD requires the GLO to ensure compliance with HUD regulations and federal law. HUD requires that funds be expended before eligible invoices can be properly submitted to HUD for reimbursement. All funds must be drawn and final close out documentation completed prior to the grant deadline of Aug. 31, 2026.
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