HOUSTON — A billion dollars in federal funds meant to help areas for flood mitigation after Hurricane Harvey won't be coming to Houston, according to local leaders.
Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia says the City of Houston and most of Harris County were left off the list.
The Texas General Land Office said neither area scored high enough on their application to get money.
“They are blind to the needs and the challenges that we face here in Harris County,” Commissioner Garcia said. “I'm frustrated, folks. I'm angry.”
County Judge Lina Hidalgo said before she took office, the county got a verbal commitment for $1 billion in federal dollars to be passed down by the state, but they never got it in writing. Judge Hidalgo also said some construction costs were higher than expected.
Mayor Turner issued the following statement on the GLO’s decision:
“The City of Houston and Harris county account for over 50% of the damages from Hurricane Harvey. It is because of the damages incurred by Houston and Harris County that HUD awarded $4.2 billion in mitigation infrastructure funding to Texas.
“For the State GLO not to give one dime in the initial distribution to the City and a very small portion to Harris County shows a callous disregard to the people of Houston and Harris County. And it is unfathomable that the State GLO would redirect most of these dollars to areas that did not suffer much from Hurricane Harvey.
“The residents and businesses in Kingwood, Clear Lake, West Houston, Fort Bend Meyerland, Sunnyside, the East End, Kashmere Gardens, Spring Branch, and Acres Home should be deeply concerned and outraged.
“HUD should immediately halt the distribution of the $4.2 billion in flood mitigation funding pending its review.”
Judge Hidalgo released this statement:
"It is unconscionable that the very community hit with the most flooded structures by far during Hurricane Harvey received nothing as part of this “Harvey Mitigation” allocation. Harris County is ground zero for catastrophic flooding and the most consequential impacts of climate change. Our community needs this federal funding and we have already begun the process of reaching out to the Biden Administration to identify alternatives - including a potential review of the process for this allocation and a direct carve-out going forward.”