HARRIS COUNTY – Homeowners in two subdivisions near Lake Houston feel forgotten. Their houses flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Since then, storm victims have been waiting for help.
Wedged between Greens Bayou and Lake Houston at the edge of Harris County’s 500-year floodplain, homeowners socked by their fifth flood in 35 years no longer worry. They scrape by.
“When we need help one of the first responses I always get (is) you’re in the county,” Rosie Turner, a homeowner said. “We had to deliver resources to ourselves.”
Chris Corley, his wife and four children rented a place on Kings Meadow until Hurricane Harvey. Four-feet of water destroyed all they had. Then, when Corley, a retired Army specialist, went to work tearing out drywall hoping to help his landlord. Instead, Corley said a new owner demanded more rent and an extra $400 a month in rent. It left Corley’s family homeless. Now, they live with his parents and siblings, 11 people sharing a house that flooded too.
“Unfortunately with the market the way it is now, of course with all (of the people displaced by Harvey) you guys know that the market is tough,” Corley said. “Really, we’ve been in this same boat since Harvey looking for a home which is almost now a year.”
Around him, many homes sit empty.
“80-percent of these houses are vacant,” Calvet Shelley, president of Harris County Municipal Utility District 148 said. “(The people) were rent to buy. They were renting and most of them were Katrina evacuees. So this is their second flood. So most of them decided to go back to Louisiana.”
Shelley said those who remain pay city taxes outside city limits and see few benefits except water service.
“They need everything from food, clothing, transportation, (and) health services,” Shelley said.
So while homeowners feel forgotten, they hope help of some kind is around the corner.