Texas GLO Commissioner in Houston addresses ongoing rebuild after Hurricane Harvey

Some Houstonians who are still waiting for home repairs after Hurricane Harvey have an advocate who’s working to get answers for them.

We told you just a few days ago about a couple of Houstonians hit hard by Harvey back in 2017 who say they’re now having issues with a government program to help rebuild their homes, and they aren’t the only ones who, all these years after the storm, are still waiting for help.

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Hurricane Harvey, nearly six years later, continues to wreak havoc on some Houstonians like Jonathan Pierre whose home still hasn’t been repaired.

A number of area residents have reached out to the Houston Area Urban League for help.  "This is one of the reasons why I’m here today," explains Advocacy Specialist Carmela Walker with the Houston Area Urban League who I met up with at a meeting with the Texas General Land Office Commissioner.

The Homeowner Assistance Program rebuilding Harvey-ravaged homes is run by the GLO.

"Our heart goes out to everybody who is still struggling through this, and if you’re having trouble with the General Land Office reach out to us and let us know. We have a lot of boots on the ground in Houston and Harris County. We want to address every concern we can," says Texas GLO Commissioner Dawn Buckingham.   

"There is a bit of frustration. People are interested in settling, so they can return to normal," Walker adds.  

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The Houston Area Urban League is acting as a liaison to help residents whose homes were destroyed by Harvey and Carmela Walker says the lingering repair issues are causing a domino effect. "If the shelter isn’t there, and they don’t have access then they can’t work to stabilize to help communities and participate in the economy and I think that’s the most important piece," Walker says.

"Flood insurance is really a homeowner's only way to get complete recovery and repair. The assistance programs passed down by HUD through us are really about helping people who wouldn’t be able to do what they need to do with their homes and they (HUD) have very set standards," says Commissioner Buckingham.   


This all comes as HUD is accusing GLO of discriminating against Black and brown people when it comes to the disaster recovery funds and HUD turned the investigation over to the justice department.

"A few months ago the Department of Justice within 48 hours returned it back to HUD. HUD of course has issued some subpoenas. We find it very frustrating that HUD is continuing to subpoena.  

According to GLO, more than two-thirds of those being helped in the program are Blacks and Hispanics. Commissioner Buckingham is urging anyone who still needs help rebuilding after Harvey to reach out to GLO.