HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Harris County is set to get $750 million for flood mitigation projects.
This comes after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved an amended plan by the Texas General Land Office.
An additional $488 million will be allocated to the Houston-Galveston Area Council for additional mitigation projects in the region.
“Ensuring Texans receive disaster recovery and mitigation funding in a timely manner to recover from Hurricane Harvey has always been my top priority,” said Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. "The $750 million allocation will go directly to Harris County for projects that help mitigate future flooding events, creating a stronger more resilient Texas.”
This announcement comes just over a week after a HUD report found the Texas GLO discriminated against minority communities when it came to flood aid.
The City of Houston didn't get a dime of the money even though it was one of the hardest-hit areas with catastrophic destruction caused by Harvey's floodwaters.
"The matrix that the state set up was inherently discriminatory in nature," Mayor Sylvester Turner said earlier this month.
He said the money went to communities less likely to flood at the expense of Houston residents in flood-prone neighborhoods.
Harris County didn't get anything either, initially, but the GLO changed its tune under pressure from Congress and local leaders. It awarded the county $1.25 billion for flood mitigation and infrastructure improvements.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said she is grateful for the additional flood control dollars headed to the county, but said the region should have received the funding in the first place.
"As the third-largest county in America, ground zero for Harvey damage and vulnerability to flooding, and home to the nation’s energy industry, there’s simply no excuse to have been shut out from these infrastructure funds in the first place. HUD’s civil rights concerns are also deeply troubling and underscore the concerns we have had all along about how these funds were initially allocated. As soon as the funds arrive, the people of Harris County can rest assured that we will not waste a minute to apply this substantial influx of dollars fairly, equitably, and quickly - as we have with our own local dollars."