AUSTIN (Covering Katy News) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted a six-month extension for Hurricane Harvey survivors still living in federally funded manufactured housing units and travel trailers. The announcement was made Wednesday by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. The deadline was extended from Feb. 25, 2019, to Aug. 25, 2019.
Commissioner Bush sent an official request on Oct. 12 asking both for an extension of the deadline for survivors as the magnitude of Hurricane Harvey has made contractor repairs scarce and more than 60 percent of the remaining population in temporary housing units (THU) are low-income families.
“Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the lives of thousands of families and damaged countless homes across the Texas Coast,” said Commissioner Bush. “While the state works diligently with local communities to implement long-term housing recovery programs to help Texans rebuild, we want to ensure that those living in FEMA-funded temporary housing units have a safe place to live. Long-term recovery after a storm the size of Harvey is a tremendous challenge, but we will continue to advocate for housing resources for those who are struggling to reach their permanent housing plan.”
The GLO is diligently assisting those remaining in temporary housing units with working toward their permanent housing plan by connecting residents with available housing solution resources such as rental resources, Disaster Case Management, Long-Term Recovery Groups, and ensuring eligible households are aware of the Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) resources and application processes. The GLO is also participating in the Joint Housing Solutions Working Group (JHSWG) and leading a sub-committee focused on transitioning THU occupants to their permanent housing plan.
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According to federal requirements, FEMA’s temporary housing assistance is set to expire on Feb. 25, 2019, 18 months after the date of the disaster. Local governments have the option to opt in or out of the extension. Should a local government entity choose not to participate in the extension, the temporary housing assistance for survivors within their jurisdiction will conclude on Feb. 25, 2019. To date, the following counties have opted in to allow for the extension: Aransas, Austin, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, Tyler, Victoria, and Wharton.
The temporary housing assistance eligible for the extension includes federally-funded manufactured housing units, travel trailers and the direct leasing program. The GLO recertification teams are increasing the frequency of both owner and renter recertification visits to help identify persisting issues and unmet needs that hinder survivors ability to achieve a permanent housing plan. To remain in THU during the extension periods, recipients will be required to work with recertification caseworkers and demonstrate substantial progress towards an achievable permanent housing plan.