Experiment with post-Harvey housing helps far fewer than expected

Rather than muscling up its program for short-term housing, FEMA called on the state of Texas to help find trailers, lease apartments and repair flood victims’ homes.

News Story (Texas)

Rebecca Elliott, James Drew
Houston Chronicle
March 9, 2018

Tags: Disaster Recovery, Housing

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (TxLIHIS)


But the effort, led by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, has been hogtied in a web of paperwork, legal wrangling and efforts to increase staffing, interviews and a Houston Chronicle examination of local, state and federal records show. It took nearly a month for FEMA to ask for help and to work out an agreement with Bush’s office. Another five months later, the state General Land Office has added 33 disaster recovery workers, after initially saying it needed 90.

Thousands of Texans, meanwhile, are still waiting for help with temporary housing. Some have given up on the government.