After A Hasty Post-Harvey Repair, One Houston Renter Lost Her Home In A Fire

The tragedy raises concerns about the quality of Harvey renovations.

By Alejandra MartinezJanuary 19, 2018 11:51 am,

From NPR’s Next Generation Radio.

One of the greatest needs in the wake of Hurricane Harvey continues to be housing. Almost one million Texans were displaced after the storm – and now the rush to get these people back into their homes has created its own share of difficulties.

One woman in Houston believes some of her home repairs were done hastily and perhaps carelessly.

Katoya Brocks’ house burned down on early in the morning on December 17.

“The house had problems since Harvey,” she says. “I had been complaining to the landlord that I couldn’t run the heater. When you would cut the heater on, it would make the lights flicker on everything else in the house.”

Katoya Brocks started the heater after her chemo session. She was cold and fell asleep. That’s when the fire started. It was caused due to ongoing electrical problems. Everything her daughter owned was destroyed, as well as heirlooms from her mother.

“We lost everything in the fire,” she says.

Now there’s a hole in the floor where her daughter’s bed used to be. “Every time I come in here, I get emotional,” she says.

Katoya and her 4-year-old daughter now live safely in a new rental home.

Alejandra Martinez is an alumni of NPR’s Next Generation Radio. She interviewed Katoya Brocks in Houston.

Written by Jeremy Steens.