HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF-FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about Direct Housing Programs in Texas
Q: What should I do if I suffered damage from Hurricane Harvey?
First, register online at DisasterAssistance.gov. or download the FEMA APP to register or call to register with FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). You will be asked to provide basic information including insurance coverage. Anyone affected by Hurricane Harvey is encouraged to apply. You may be referred to a range of helpful programs in addition to FEMA assistance. The information you provide will be used to help FEMA determine whether you are eligible. In most cases, an inspector will come out to look at your damaged property to help FEMA determine which relief program you qualify. If you have already registered with FEMA, you need not register again.
Q: Who is leading housing recovery efforts in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey?
A: Hurricane Harvey relief is locally led, state-administered and federally funded. The General Land Office (GLO) is leading the state of Texas’ Temporary Direct Housing recovery from Hurricane Harvey. The GLO is working with local officials – Councils of Government (COGs), judges and mayors – to find the most effective ways to get Texans back in their homes. For details on direct housing programs, see www.texasrebuilds.com.
Q: How is the federally funded, state-administered, locally managed disaster housing implemented?
A: The Texas General Land Office (GLO), with the assistance of FEMA, will handle administrative responsibilities through the appropriate Councils of Government (COGs); management is made locally by county judges, mayors, housing authorities and city/county departments in coordination with COGs.
Q: How is this different from what FEMA usually does after a disaster?
A: Federally funded, state supported, locally managed housing is implemented on the local level, by local officials, rather than implemented by FEMA. All available housing options are being implemented to meet survivors’ needs.
Q: What is the federal role?
A: FEMA funds and determines eligibility for direct housing benefits. The federal government also provides technical assistance and financial support to state and local jurisdictions, as well as providing financial assistance to eligible individuals.
Q: What are the direct housing programs being managed by local Texas communities?
A: The following Direct Temporary Housing Assistance programs will be federally funded, administered by the State of Texas and managed by local officials:
1) Multi-family Housing Leasing and Repair: Direct assistance to repair or improve existing multi-family housing such as apartments in order to provide more housing for survivors.
• Properties must be three or more units, with each unit providing complete living facilities for cooking, eating, and sanitation. Hotels, motels, and extended stay hotels are not eligible at this time.
2) Direct Leasing: Enables local governments to lease a property that typically would not be available to the public, such as corporate lodging.
• Local government enters into the lease agreement on behalf of individuals or households. Various types of housing properties may be eligible.
3) Manufactured Housing Options (Mobile Homes and Travel Trailers): Direct housing places manufactured units on private land or commercial pads.
• Local permitting may apply.
• Site must be suitable. Hauling and installation by local entities involved.
• An inspection of the site to determine suitability will be scheduled.
4) PREPS – Partial Repair and Essential Power for Sheltering: PREPS provides minor repairs to homes in locations with limited housing options.
• For eligible properties that have incurred limited damage displacing individuals from their homes.
• PREPS allows basic, emergency home repairs – not to include finish work – so Texans can shelter in their home while they are completing permanent repairs.
• To be eligible for PREPS, individuals and households must reside in a county that has been designated for Public Assistance and Individual Assistance. Your damage must be to a primary residence, you must be the homeowner, and damage must be a result of Hurricane Harvey.
5) DALHR – Direct Assistance for Limited Home Repair: DALHR provides permanent repairs to homes with significant damage.
• Program can include permanent repairs to a survivor’s home where alternative housing is not available or is not cost-effective.
• FEMA will determine eligibility for permanent housing construction DALHR on a case-by-case basis.
• All other forms of housing assistance must be exhausted before DALHR can be considered.
Q: How do I find out if I’m eligible for disaster housing help?
A: To be eligible for federal disaster assistance, individuals and households must reside in a county that has been designated a federal disaster for individual assistance (click here for a list of declared counties). Your damage must be to a primary residence and must be a result of Hurricane Harvey. First, call to register with FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA), or register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or with the FEMA mobile app. You will be asked to provide basic information, including insurance coverage.
Q: Who can apply for help?
A: Anyone affected by Hurricane Harvey is encouraged to register with FEMA. You may be referred to a range of helpful programs in addition to FEMA assistance.
Q: What happens after I register?
A: The information you provide will be used to help FEMA determine whether you are eligible. In most cases, an inspector will come out to look at your damaged property. If you are eligible, the State of Texas, local government, and FEMA will work closely together to provide assistance.
Q: Who decides if manufactured housing units (MHUs) or travel trailers will be available in my community?
A: This is a state-administered, locally managed recovery. Local people are driving their own path forward. FEMA determines who is eligible for direct housing and works with local jurisdictions on housing options available in the community. Local jurisdictions decide about rebuilding in ways that meet the needs of their communities.
Q: What else is being done for disaster survivors?
A: Disaster housing programs have been active since the beginning of the disaster. Tens of thousands of Texans who registered with FEMA have received rental assistance, repair and replacement assistance and temporary hotel lodging assistance until more suitable solutions are found. In addition, voluntary agencies have assisted uncounted numbers of survivors.
Welcome to the Harris County Recovery Network Website
In the event of a disaster or other emergency, this is your information hub for the weeks and months after the immediate emergency passes and recovery begins. If the emergency creates the need for shelters, food and water distribution or longer term housing we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. This is NOT the best source of information before and during an emergency.
The Harris County office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management will coordinate with the local news outlets before and during the actual emergency. The Harris County Recovery Network is here to serve you in the in the weeks, months and even years beyond the immediate emergency. Meanwhile, we hope you take the time to review this information from lessons learned after past emergencies.