State awards Ike recovery grant to DETCOG

AUSTIN, TX - Aiming to rapidly rebuild the housing stock of East Texas in the wake of Hurricane Ike and bolster the region's economy, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (THDCA) today announced an award of federal disaster recovery funds to a regional planning commission serving a 12-county area of East Texas. In addition to helping replace damaged or destroyed housing units, the award will also provide a wide array of financial benefits to the region.

TDHCA awarded the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) $5.9 million in disaster recovery funds which will help repair or rebuild 125 single family homes damaged by the 2008 storm. Ninety-nine of these households will be of low income. The award represents a portion of the $1.3 billion in federal disaster recovery funds allocated to the state just over five months ago.

"Ike was one of the most destructive hurricanes on record, and Texas unfortunately took a direct hit," said Michael Gerber, TDHCA Executive Director. "The state's mission now is to restore the region's housing stock in as rapid a manner as possible, which will help stabilize lives, create construction jobs, and generate taxes and fees for local governments. By working through officials at the local level, TDHCA is ensuring the funds are directed to where they will have the greatest impact."

DETCOG is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school and other special districts assisting local leaders in planning and coordinating regional development activities. The organization serves Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler.

Hurricane Ike made landfall at Galveston on September 13, 2008, with a significant storm surge and winds topping out at 110 miles per hour. Damages have been estimated to run as high as $29 billion.

On March 31, 2009, the Office of Rural and Community Affairs executed a grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), accepting the $1.3 billion in disaster recovery funds for the State of Texas.

This allocation to DETCOG is among the portion of funds appropriated for hurricanes Ike and Dolly; of this amount, approximately $620 million will be made available to TDHCA to administer housing programs related to the state's recovery efforts.

Under HUD regulations, 50 percent of federal disaster recovery funds targeting the rebuilding of homes damaged by Hurricane Ike must benefit low to moderate income households.