As we celebrate this holiday of being thankful, we would be remiss not to also think about those who are struggling. This week, we’ve featured stories of the hard time many of our fellow Texans are having rebuilding their homes and their lives after Hurricane Harvey.
So how much damage did Harvey do to Texas homes?
The Texas Tribune’s Brandon Formby writes that we may never know an exact answer. He says that FEMA tracks the overall amount of damage and the number of households that have applied for immediate help, and the Texas General Land Office oversees the housing recovery – but no agency is doing an accounting of all storm damage to private property.
“The Land Office will oversee long term recovery money that comes from [the U.S.] Department of Housing and Urban Development,” Formby says. “That agency gives out disaster relief grants, but that money can be split between housing and infrastructure.”
Formby says that without a central source of damage data, it’s difficult for agencies to know how much money will be needed. It also makes it difficult for local governments to know what’s needed in their own communities – a necessity because the Land Office wants resource decisions to be made at the local level.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.