GLO announces approval of Regional Councils of Government Methods of Distribution for local recovery funds
SAN ANTONIO — Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced the Texas General Land Office (GLO) has approved all nine methods of distribution (MODs) proposed by regional Councils of Governments' (COGs) for $276 million in Hurricane Harvey recovery funds for the buyout and acquisition program and $413 million for infrastructure program for cities and counties affected by Hurricane Harvey. COG boards are comprised of elected officials from the impacted communities. These local leaders are vital to the distribution of funds process as they are experts in local recovery needs and are best suited to prioritize the limited funds available for programs such as buyouts/acquisitions and infrastructure improvements.
"Hurricane Harvey devastated communities across the Texas Coast," said Commissioner Bush. "The Texas General Land Office continues to work diligently through the federally mandated process for distributing recovery funding and implementing programs. We are dedicated to working with our local partners to ensure that available funds are distributed in a fair process directed by regional leaders while also adhering to complex federal requirements."
The nine regional COGs allocated portions of the $5.024 billion in Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Hurricane Harvey housing recovery assistance are: Alamo Area Council of Governments, Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Capital Area Council of Governments, Central Texas Council of Governments, Coastal Bend Council of Governments, Deep East Texas Council of Governments, Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission, Houston-Galveston Area Council and the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission.
The COGs facilitated the development of each MOD through a public participation process that included at least two public hearings and a 14-day public comment period. Objective criteria, such as unmet needs, were used in each MOD to distribute funds to eligible cities and counties. To review the approved MODs, please visit http://recovery.texas.gov/local-government/hud-requirements-reports/hurricane-harvey/index.html.
Background on $5.024 billion CDBG-DR funding allocation: Three days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, Commissioner Bush submitted a letter to President Donald J. Trump and key members of his Cabinet describing $180 billion in damage to the state of Texas and estimating at least $40 billion in unmet need to the state. At the time, Hurricane Harvey was still over most of the greater Southeast Texas region and the extent of the storm's damage was yet unknown. On September 8, President Trump signed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018, and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017, which included $7.4 billion appropriated to HUD for long-term recovery. HUD then allocated $5.024 billion of the appropriations to Texas for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts - the single largest allocation of its kind for any event. To date, the GLO estimates more than $105 billion in unmet need in Texas as a direct result of Hurricane Harvey. HUD recently released guidance for an additional $652 million in recovery funds. Guidance for an additional $4.3 billion for mitigation projects is anticipated to be released soon. The GLO will continue to work with local, state, and federal partners to ensure funding is available for ongoing recovery efforts.
About GLO Community Development and Revitalization (CDR): In addition to short-term housing in partnership with FEMA, the CDR division of the Texas General Land Office administers Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds on behalf of the state of Texas. More than $9 billion have been allocated for recovery following Hurricanes Rita, Dolly, and Ike, the 2011 wildfires, the 2015 and 2016 floods and Hurricane Harvey. These grants can be used for a wide variety of activities including housing redevelopment, infrastructure repair and long-term planning. For more information, please visit Recovery.Texas.Gov.
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