Aug. 25, 2017: Hurricane Harvey makes landfall
Sept. 8, 2017: Congress appropriates $5.02 billion in Harvey aid to Texas General Land Oce
KEY DATES The past ve years have been fraught with a power struggle between the Texas General Land Oce and the city of Houston.
January 2020: Harvey Forgotten Survivors Caucus issues rst list of demands
October 2019: Texas Housers creates Harvey Forgotten Survivors Caucus amid concerns about government programs
Aug. 17, 2018: GLO allocates $1.28 billion in funds to city of Houston
at the end of 2021. Other storms continue to hit the Gulf Coast, including hurricanes Ida and Laura, and Tropical Storm Nicholas, all of which hit in 2020 or 2021, either in Houston or dangerously close. “We know disasters are not going away,” she said. • GLO obtained more than 3,000 program leads from Houston, leaving city with more than 1,400 les that had already made a certain amount of progress • Benchmarks established in order for Houston to continue to draw down funding • Outreach plan implemented and progress analysis ongoing Houston and the Texas General Land Oce said all recommendations from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development made in the Jan. 4 audit have already been implemented. SOURCES: TEXAS HOUSERS, CITY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS GENERAL LAND OFFICECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
May 2020: GLO publishes draft of Amendment 7, which would take control of city’s programs
March 15, 2021: GLO announces Amendment 8,
Dec. 31, 2021: GLO program closes to new applicants
Jan. 4, 2022: HUD audit names Texas “slow spender”
reinstating more than $835 million to Houston
shifted back and forth between the city and state. InMay2020, theGLOpostedAmend- ment 7 for public comments, announc- ing its intentions to eliminate funds from Houston’s programs and begin administering its own programs. The city and the state continued to negoti- ate, and Amendment 8 was published in March 2021, reinstating $835 million in funding to Houston. All the while, program applicants were trying to keep up, Orduña said, sometimeshaving to start fromscratch. “The GLO promised us that no one would start at the beginning of the line,” Orduña said. “The GLO promised us that everything already done by the
city would not be duplicated, and none of that happened.” When the $835 million was rein- stated, more than 3,000 of the 4,439 applicants in the homeowners assis- tance program remained with the state. In awritten response to the Jan. 4 audit, Martin Rivera, a deputy director with the GLO, said many of the cases transferred over were missing docu- ments or contained incorrect informa- tion, a claim Houston ocials dispute. The decision to reprogram Houston’s Harvey funds was “a measure of last resort,” but a necessary one to speed up the recovery, he wrote. As the contention between the city and the state played out, groups like
the Texas Housers looked on with growing frustration, Orduña said. “Ifweaskwhy theyhavebeenunable to do things, it’s because they are not paying attention to the people in the programwho are telling themwhat the problem is,” Orduña said. “They are the survivors. They are the experts.” Members of the Harvey Forgotten Survivors Caucus, of which there are just under 30, continue to meet twice a month, giving updates on their own applications and trying to oer advice to each other based on their experi- ences getting issues resolved. Orduña said she hears from new people every daywho ask about ways to get help, but the programclosed to newapplications
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