Commission To Rebuild Texas Update: Issue 8

AUSTIN – Texans are known for their spirit and resolve, and in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we’ve witnessed the persevering nature of Texans each and every day. For the city of Houston, the Gulf Coast region and Texans across the state still recovering from the storm’s devastation, seven nights of the nation’s best baseball were a welcome distraction. “Earn History” was truly a fitting motto as the Houston Astros displayed tremendous character and grit, fighting through adversity to bring home the franchise’s first World Series title.

The victory is a result of teamwork and tenacity, and will serve as inspiration to a people who are passionate about sports and proud to call Texas home. We are #HoustonStrong. We are #TexasStrong.

– Governor Greg Abbott

Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas

  • Governor Abbott met with White House and Office of Management and Budget officials as well as U.S. Senate and House leaders, including Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and the Texas Congressional delegation, in Washington, D.C., to request $61 billion in expedited federal funding for repair of public infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Harvey and the flooding that followed. Congress is expected to consider the next appropriation in the upcoming weeks.
  • The Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas derived the $61 billion request from surveys submitted by mayors and county judges listing their communities’ needs, plus U.S. Army Corps of Engineer projects that could mitigate the potential for future storm damage.
  • Attorney General Ken Paxton sent notices of violations to 127 Texas businesses accused of price gouging during the state of disaster declared for Hurricane Harvey. All of the cases involve consumer complaints against gas stations that allegedly charged $3.99 or higher for a gallon of unleaded gasoline or diesel. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act prohibits anyone from taking advantage of a disaster declared by the governor and selling or leasing fuel or other necessities for excessive or exorbitant prices.
  • Hurricane Harvey caused more than $200 million in crop and livestock losses, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economists. Damages would have been worse were it not for generous hay and feed donations valued at more than $1.3 million.
  • $474.8 million in Public Assistance funding from FEMA for state and local governments has been obligated, as of Nov. 1; FEMA has received 865 Requests for Public Assistance from jurisdictions.
  • Because of the Commission staff’s daily outreach in impacted communities, as of Nov. 2, roughly 3,222 reports have been submitted from the field to the Assistance Center at Texas A&M. From those reports, the Assistance Center identified 605 issues needing follow-up or resolution; all but one have been resolved.
  • Certain nonprofit organizations that experienced damage or losses from Hurricane Harvey may apply for FEMA Public Assistance to help them get back to the business of helping others.
    The Texas Division of Emergency Management reports nearly 9 million cubic yards of debris have been collected.

Individual Assistance

  • $6.7 billion in federal funds have been provided directly to Texans, including FEMA grants to households, National Flood Insurance Program claims payments and SBA disaster loans, as of Nov. 1.
  • 885,222 individual assistance applications have been received as of Nov. 1. FEMA’s deadline to register for Individual Disaster Assistance is now Nov. 30, 2017
  • As of Oct. 28, the last shelter closed; total shelter population: 0 in 0 shelters.
  • 52,071 individuals are taking advantage of FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance, as of Nov. 2. Survivors staying in hotels under the program may be eligible to stay longer—the new deadline is Nov. 27, 2017. TSA guests will receive a phone call to let them know if they are eligible for the extension and what they need to do to remain at their current hotel or find a new hotel.
  • 158,251 individuals have visited Disaster Recovery Centers for assistance, as of Nov. 1; for current locations and mobile units visit fema.gov/DRC or download the FEMA app fema.gov/mobile-app.
    FEMA has completed 540,249 inspections, as of Nov. 1.
  • For help with questions about insurance claims or settlements, or to report suspected insurance fraud, call the Texas Department of Insurance at 800-252-3439.
  • The filing deadline for loans from the Small Business Administration for property damage is Nov. 24, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 25, 2018. disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Housing

  • Land Commissioner George P. Bush visited Dickinson on Nov. 3 to kick-off the Direct Assistance for Limited Home Repair program, one of several FEMA-funded disaster housing programs being locally led and state managed by the General Land Office. DALHR provides permanent repairs to homes with damage ranging between $17,000 and $60,000.
    TexasRebuilds.com is the housing information source for individuals and communities.

Jobs

  • The Texas Workforce Commission has paid out $59.9 million in disaster unemployment benefits and $7.2 million in federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance as of Oct. 31.
  • Workforce Solutions Offices have enrolled 119 disaster-affected participants, placed 41 participants in temporary jobs and provided career services and training to 132 participants.
  • Two Workforce Solutions mobile units are serving affected individuals in Rockport, Aransas Pass and Refugio. The mobile workforce units have served over 135 customers to date at these locations
  • Workforce Solutions Golden Crescent staff are available in the Victoria Disaster Recovery Center, and staff at Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas continue to coordinate across their area with disaster recovery centers.
  • Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast held two hiring events on Nov. 2 to fill 400 temporary public service positions with the City of Houston.
  • TWC is hosting its annual Hiring Red, White & You! job fair for veterans in Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Houston, Victoria and other cities statewide on Nov. 9, 2017.
  • Residents in Caldwell and Grimes counties have until Nov. 13, 2017, to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance: 800-939-6631.

Schools

  • Sixteen districts have submitted instructional materials needs lists to the Hurricane Harvey Instructional Materials Assistance online registry. Of those, four districts have had their lists fulfilled and eight districts have seen their lists partially fulfilled. Seven Texas districts and one Wisconsin district have donated materials.
  • The Texas Education Agency has received from the Federal Communications Commission relief from various E-rate rules and procedures on behalf of all school districts and charter schools affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Texans Helping Texans

  • More than 24,000 Harvey survivors have called the Cleanup Assistance Hotline at 844-965-1386. Volunteer groups have completed 16,763 requests to muck and gut flood-damaged homes.
  • Nearly 3.2 million volunteer service hours have been recorded by Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster members. These volunteer hours are carefully tracked and can be applied to a community’s cost-share offset if eligibility requirements are met as determined by FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

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