Commission To Rebuild Texas After Hurricane Harvey Update: Issue 25
"In a year that saw the state of Texas challenged by Hurricane Harvey — with its economic impact felt across the Coastal Bend region and beyond — it is a testament to the resilience of the people of Texas and the diversity of our economy to be named America’s Top State for Business by CNBC, the Best State for Startups by WalletHub, and again the Best State for Business by CEOs surveyed by Chief Executive magazine. Today, Texas leads all states in private-sector job creation, with over 346,300 private-sector jobs added over the last year. New business formation in Texas is at a five-year high, and jobs in Texas are now on pace for the strongest growth in four years. While recovery continues for our families, businesses and communities, it is because of the hardworking people of Texas that the future is so bright in the Lone Star State. ”
─ Governor Greg Abbott
Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced nearly $5 billion in disaster recovery funding for critical flood mitigation projects, including a number of high-priority projects identified by Governor Abbott and local leaders. This allocation is in addition to the $500 million announced by the USACE last month.
- Governor Abbott announced that Texas has been named America’s Top State for Business by CNBC, noting in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that “the future looks bright in our coastal communities. While businesses are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, tourists are returning, retail sales are trending up and real estate sales are rebounding... business conditions are improving and business leaders are optimistic.”
- To promote local economies and support the 169,000 jobs directly created by travel spending in the 20 Texas Gulf Coast counties, the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism division’s Travel Texas program has been running travel ads throughout the U.S., generating an estimated 200 million impressions through TV, digital display ads and paid social media. A targeted digital campaign promoting the Texas coast as open for business ran April through June, generating an additional 21 million impressions. Travel Texas also posted a “Texplorer” social media video promotion highlighting Rockport-Fulton, Port Aransas, Mustang Island, Padre Island and Corpus Christi. Along with these and other advertising investments, Travel Texas funded a satellite media tour — a series of TV, radio and online interviews ─ focused on Gulf Coast travel, garnering over 19 million impressions.
- Hurricane season runs through November. Governor Abbott reminds Texans to review their property’s flood risk and current insurance coverage, and to consider whether a separate flood policy should be part of their home protection plan. Most flood policies have a 30-day waiting period before taking effect. Visit FloodSmart.gov to find more information.
- Because of daily outreach, 6,573 reports have been submitted from the field to the Assistance Center at Texas A&M. From those reports, the Assistance Center identified 749 issues needed follow-up or resolution, and all but two have been resolved as of July 12.
- Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced $250 million in available Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to help rehabilitate, reconstruct and construct multi-family rental homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey. This funding is in addition to the $10 million dedicated to multifamily rental developments in the previous $57.8 million Harvey allocation to help rebuild affordable housing in the Coastal Bend region.
- Commissioner Bush also announced the U.S. Housing and Urban Development approved the State Action Plan for $5.024 billion in CDBG-DR funds to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey. The approved plan will deliver $2.7 billion in recovery funds to areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey outside of the City of Houston and Harris County. The remaining $2.3 billion direct allocation to Harris County and the City of Houston will soon be submitted as future amendments to the State Action Plan pending submission of each entity's Local Action Plans.
- Commissioner Bush visited Rockport and Refugio to tour apartment complexes that will be reconstructed as affordable housing for Coastal Bend workforce.
- Commissioner Bush and recovery team members also traveled to Beaumont to meet with local leaders at the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission and provide an update on CDBG-DR funding.
- GLO and FEMA are advising Texans currently living in a FEMA Manufactured Housing Unit (MHU) to protect family and property. MHUs are designed to be exceptionally safe and secure, but all forms of housing are at risk for damage in severe weather. Never take shelter in an MHU during high winds, a tornado, a hurricane or a flood. Stay alert to weather warnings, and always follow the guidance of local officials including evacuation orders. If your MHU is damaged due to severe weather, contact the maintenance number provided when licensed in the unit
- Reminder: Flood insurance must be maintained to qualify for federal assistance in the future. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders with questions may call 800-621-3362, Mon. to Sat., 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, visit FloodSmart.gov.
- Current housing numbers are now posted on rebuildtexas.today/recovery-tracker.
- TexasRebuilds.com is the housing information resource for individuals and communities.
- Follow Twitter.com/TXGLO for pictures of move-in days and updates on housing recovery.
- Current individual assistance numbers are now posted on rebuildtexas.today/recovery-tracker.
- To find the nearest Disaster Recovery Center visit fema.gov/drc, or text DRC along with a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA). Survivors also can find help by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362, logging into DisasterAssistance.gov or downloading the FEMA app fema.gov/mobile-app.
FEMA’s Disaster Distress Helpline offers trained professionals who can help callers cope with anxiety or stress, and guide them to available resources. This toll-free, multilingual and confidential crisis support service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 800-985-5990, 800-846-8517 (TTY) or text TalkWithUs (Spanish-speakers text: Hablanos) to 66746.
As seen in “Special Report: Texas Coastal Comeback” from Texas Highways: Elena Rodriguez, curator of the Rockport Center of the Arts, stands #RockportStrong in the sculpture garden at the Center’s 130-year-old, Harvey-damaged and now-razed building. With its relocation to Navigation Circle and a $500,000 grant from the Rebuild Texas Fund, the Center is once again a must-see tourist destination with a full schedule of exhibitions underway. (Photo courtesy: Texas Highways)