Now that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $5 billion to Texas to help with long-term disaster recovery housing after Hurricane Harvey, the state is planning how and when to distribute the money.

The Texas General Land Office is planning how the state will distribute the initial $57.8 million.

Harvey damaged about 20,000 homes in Galveston County, and while some residents had flood insurance or were able to make repairs with federal assistance or the help of faith-based charities, others remain in hotels and trailers as they wait on more permanent housing solutions.

Texas has more than $60 billion in unmet needs as a direct result of Hurricane Harvey, state officials said.

Housing and Urban Development officials used data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine the award, officials said.

The land office’s Community Development and Revitalization office will administer the disaster recovery funds for housing redevelopment, infrastructure repair and long-term planning. The money is part of the federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program.

This is the largest federal disaster allocation of its type, the land office said.

The state likely will distribute the funds through the Texas Association of Regional Councils and the regional Councils of Governments. The land office is working out the details of the distribution.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council would be the regional council for Galveston County.

To expedite the recovery process with these funds, the land office will administer a multifamily affordable rental program, a homeowner reimbursement program and other tenant and homeowner programs, officials said.

Homeowners should keep receipts for any home repairs, the land office said.

Valerie Wells: 409-683-5246;

(4) comments

Randy Chapman

HUD rapes the taxpayers again. More graft and waste coming your way.

PD Hyatt

One day I do wonder what our nation is going to do when the Feds run out of money that they can print...the way that they are handing out money over the last 4-5 decades is bankrupting our nation....

Diane Turski

HUD - currently run by Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, who ran for president in the Republican primary and later became Trump's choice to run HUD. And then, of course, we also have another person with the "appropriate credentials" to have a supervisory position at HUD - appointed by Trump to run the NE area of HUD is Trump's son's wedding planner. I don't see why anyone should be surprised when anything that HUD does might not make sense....

Randy Chapman

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) is code for funds to a few select companies that feed at the taxpayer trough. Overpriced housing is given to people for free that let their homes fall apart due to deferred maintenance, and infrastructure that oftentimes is not needed, but is on city's want list of nice things, etc.

These companies have been entrenched in Galveston County since Ike, and of course, they will be right there again to feed as more taxpayer money is given away for free home replacement, and to the cities for things not affected by Harvey, like new streets and beautification projects. I am glad that Galveston county is getting the money as opposed to other parts of the country, but as a nation, we can't continue down the path of raping the taxpayers for the benefit of a few wealthy contractors. Where are the things we need, like the Ike Dike? Jesus, it's been 10 years people, and nothing has been done!

It's sad that our lawmakers, the GLO, and HUD can fritter away money so wastefully with no taxpayer oversight.

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