The Texas General Land Office (GLO) Community Development and Revitalization Program released the State of Texas Plan for Harvey Disaster Recovery on January 18. The plan details how the state intends to spend the $57.8 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding recently allocated to it by HUD. The GLO is leading the recovery process in Texas and is accepting comments on the plan through February 1. Comments can be mailed, faxed, emailed, or submitted through their online form. Advocates have concerns about the plan’s short public comment period, data gathering methods, lack of specifics on fair housing, and instability to meet low income communities’ needs.
The plan states that the limited amount of CDBG-DR prohibits the GLO from setting funds aside for homeless and special needs populations. The plan also promises all projects will undergo Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) reviews, but lacks specific language about how those will be implemented. Funds will focus on Harris County, which was determined the most impacted by Hurricane Harvey through the state’s needs assessment, and will provide resources for the Residential Buyout, Partial Repair and Essential Power for Sheltering, and Affordable Rental Recovery programs.
NLIHC state partner Texas Housers has raised concerns about the data collection methods used for the needs assessment, noting that the use of American Community Survey (ACS) data does not convey the true needs of the communities impacted. Texas Housers has a continuing blog series on the State plan.