GALVESTON

The Texas General Land Office on Thursday clarified an estimate it provided to The Daily News earlier this week about the number of homes it expects to rebuild in Galveston County through an soon-to-begin housing rebuilding program.

The land office estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 would be rebuilt in the six-county funding region that includes Galveston County, as well as Brazoria, Chambers, Liberty, Montgomery and Walker counties.

The six counties have were allocated about $258 million for housing rebuilding and rehabilitation programs. Each home project that’s approved under the program will receive between $100,000 and $150,000.

The Daily News on Thursday reported that up to 2,000 homes could be repaired in the county through the land office’s Homeowner Assistance Program.

Later on Thursday, the land office said the 1,500 to 2,000 homes would be divided between the six-county region. It’s impossible to say how many of those homes will be in Galveston County and how many will be in the five other counties, because of the way the program is being managed, the land office said.

“It will be first come, first serve, and funds are not allocated per county,” land office spokeswoman Brittany Eck said.

The funds will mostly be used to rebuild homes owned by low- and moderate-income families, Eck said.

Applications for the homeowner assistance program will begin to be accepted on Monday, Dec. 3.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(5) comments

Rusty Schroeder

News keeps getting worse for the residents of Galveston County that were hoping for help. First come first serve basis, nope, more like who you know basis.

Randy Chapman

You are correct Rusty. And I'm sure it will go just like the Ike program; many homes with no hurricane damage(flooding in Galveston County--no high winds) replaced because of deferred maintenance. Unless a home was flooded by Harvey, it should not be considered for the program.

Gary Scoggin

The program eligibility criteria calls for verifiable storm damage. Now the devil is in the details and its possible for some homes in bad shape due to deferred maintenance to creep into the program. GLO's job will be to keep that from happening.

As far as first-come, first-served, the "who you know" argument has some merit but maybe not in the way one would assume. The best way to get in line early is to work with a disaster case manager that can help you prepare your application so that everything is in order and it doesn't get kicked back for more information. So the "who" in "who you know" is a Disaster Case Manager. (If you don't have one and need one, call Mainland Community Partnership at 409-643-8240 and they can hook you up with one.)

As noted in John Wayne Ferguson's article on Wednesday, we have a lot of concerns about the first-come, first-served concept. We have shared these with GLO on several occasions but with no apparent effect.

Rusty Schroeder

Gary the who you know I am talking about is purely political, Harris county should not be in the equation in my opinion. The same problems in the same areas after regular flooding are going to be treated the same as a 1 time flood in Galveston county. Like I said, many in Galveston County will get left out. These case mangers won't be used just here but everywhere, it will come down to who knows who and who has greater pull with the GLO.

Gary Scoggin

Actually, there are about 40 case managers dedicated to Galveston County. These are not GLO case managers but working with the County’s long term recovery group. (Disclaimer: I lead this group.) The local case managers have been working hard to reach out to and qualify people in the County who might qualify in order to get them in line early. And they’ve been doing this with no meaningful support from GLO.

Harris County/Houston has its own separate pool of money which it administers unto itself. (I’ve got mixed emotions about how that went down, a topic perhaps for another day.)

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