Disaster Relief Efforts

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has awarded $9.9 million to 12 counties and two nonprofit housing organizations in East and Southeast Texas to help area residents rebuild or repair homes damaged by Hurricane Rita. The funds are expected to assist an estimated 266 households living in 13 counties.

"I am pleased we can provide this much-needed assistance so that Texans recovering from Hurricane Rita can rebuild and repair their homes," Governor Rick Perry said.  "I am heartened by the steps toward recovery we are making in the region, and I will continue to call upon Washington to provide the hurricane relief promised to Texans."

The awards were comprised of $8.6 million in federal HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program funds and $1.3 million from the state's Texas Bootstrap Loan Program. The HOME Program awards will help repair or replace an estimated 206 homes owned and occupied by low income Texans. Counties receiving an award included Jefferson, Jasper, San Jacinto, Tyler, Polk, Newton, Orange, Hardin, San Augustine, Trinity, Shelby, and Angelina.

HOME Program funds may be used for the rehabilitation of single family homes, including roof repair or replacement, electrical system repairs, and plumbing repairs. An individual must own and reside in their home in order to qualify for the program; rental homes are not eligible. In the event a home is beyond reasonable repair, it may be demolished and replaced.

The Governor's Office played an integral role in helping TDHCA obtain necessary waivers to state and federal program rules, allowing the allocation of these funds with a minimum of restrictions, conditions, and delays.

TDHCA awarded $1.3 million in Texas Bootstrap Loan Program funds to Habitat for Humanity/Texas and the Port Arthur Affordable Housing Corporation. These two organizations will assist 60 very low income individuals and families living in Jefferson, Polk, and San Jacinto counties repair or rebuild their homes through "sweat equity."

Participants in the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program must provide at least 60 percent of the labor necessary to construct or repair the home, and homeowners must work through a state-certified, nonprofit operator of an owner-builder program.