Governor Abbott, House And Senate Leadership, Grant Texas General Land Office Funding Request To Continue Housing Programs For Harvey Victims

January 24, 2018 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott, in partnership with Texas House and Senate leadership, today approved a request by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) for $38.6 million in disaster-related aid to fund critical direct housing programs across the Gulf region in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The funds will be transferred from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to the General Land Office.

Today’s action was taken under Section 14.04 of Article IX of the General Appropriations Act, which anticipates the need to make certain transfers of appropriated dollars when disaster strikes and the Legislature is not in session.

The transfer will have no effect on the daily operations of TDCJ as the Governor, House and Senate leadership made clear their intention to ensure the funding is restored before it is needed for the agency to complete Fiscal Year 2019.     

“A top priority as we continue to rebuild is ensuring that families affected by Harvey can return to permanent housing,” said Governor Abbott. “This funding gives the General Land Office the necessary resources to continue that important work. I thank the Senate and House leadership for their quick action, and commend our state agencies for demonstrating the same level of commitment to helping Texans in their time of need.”

“Harvey was a Texas-sized storm that continues to require a massive rebuilding effort," said Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. "This will be one of our top priorities in the 2019 legislative session, but in the interim, we must move forward on the work to house the thousands of Texans who lost their homes. This transfer will allow us to do that.”

"Until the Legislature acts next session to fully address the impact of Hurricane Harvey, this will ensure that families impacted along the Gulf Coast can begin the long process of rebuilding," said Speaker Joe Straus. "It also demonstrates our commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in the use of state money for hurricane relief."

"The Legislature must remain committed to providing agencies with the appropriate resources needed for the continued recovery from Hurricane Harvey," said Representative John Zerwas. "Our agencies are working together in order to maximize flexibility prior to the 2019 legislative session.

"These funds will make it possible for many Texans to get back in their homes -- which is so important as we work to rebuild communities and local economies in the wake of Hurricane Harvey," said Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound.

Read the letter from Governor Abbott and Senate and House leadership.