Press Release From Texas General Land Office
In the letter, Commissioner Bush tells President Trump that Congress appropriated $4.383 billion to Texas to help rebuild and mitigate against future storms through Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) on February 9, 2018, nearly one year ago. In order for Texas to receive these funds, HUD must publish rules governing the use of the recovery dollars in the Federal Register, which enables the Texas General Land Office (GLO) to move forward drafting the state’s action plan. Once the state action plan has been drafted and made available in multiple languages for a mandatory public comment period, it is then sent to HUD for approval. The federally mandated State Action Plan process takes a minimum of four months and has taken longer than six months in many cases.
Commissioner Bush also notified President Trump that, in an effort to expedite the publication of the rules, the GLO has worked closely with HUD in order to define mitigation activities. However, one year later, the rules have still not been published. Commissioner Bush wrote to Director Mulvaney regarding approving HUD’s rules on Jan. 2, 2019.
“At the direction of HUD, I have written to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney urging him to please approve these rules for publication as soon as possible so we can get started on construction of vital infrastructure projects to protect Texans from the type of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey,” said Commissioner Bush. “To date, we have not received a response.”
Hurricane Harvey was a historic storm in terms of property damage and disruption to the lives of Texans in the impacted area. The most economically destructive hurricane to hit Texas, with damage estimated at $113 billion, Hurricane Harvey was also the second most destructive in American history. As Commissioner Bush reiterated, it is now well over a year out from the destruction of Harvey, and many Texans are not receiving the help they need due to the constraints of the federal bureaucracy. The next hurricane season is set to begin June 1, 2019.