Hurricane Harvey Latest News from HUD
By the Numbers: (as of 10/27)
339,224 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
$1,293,091,708 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
$1,000,519,220 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
$283,572,488 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
$472,639,716 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA)**
$409,701,591 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.
**Funds made available to the state via electronic transfer following FEMA’s final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.
Individual Assistance Numbers: (as of 10/16)
140,080 pending applications
Grant for Legal Services Awarded. The Texas Bar Foundation awarded Lone Star Legal Aid a one year grant of $76,854 to support LSLA’s efforts provide legal services for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The grant will support an attorney at their Beaumont offices to focus on survivors’ legal issues such as FEMA appeals, evictions and lease terminations, and other short and long-term issues. In announcing receipt of the award, LSLA noted that as part of LSLA’s representation of tenants who survived Hurricane Harvey in this region, three temporary restraining orders have been granted against landlords attempting to evict tenants, which resulted in tenants having time to retrieve their personal belongings from damaged apartments. Also, with so many individuals and families having lost their homes, the City of Port Arthur has resorted to the creation of a military-style tent city in order to house residents.
Youth in Juvenile Justice System. Because of Hurricane Harvey, many youths in Harris County’s juvenile justice system are dealing with homelessness and separation from family on top of following probation orders and attending hearings. The County Juvenile Probation Department referred 65 children impacted by the storm to the local nonprofit reVision for additional assistance. Probation officers and judges have also been more lenient in light of the additional hardships.
- Governor Greg Abbott has approved a request allowing the state to waive fees for mail-in or walk-in birth certificate issuance requests, and local registrars to waive fees for walk-in birth certificate issuance requests, for individuals from hurricane-affected counties.
- Individuals in the affected counties can request one replacement certified copy of a birth certificate free of charge either by mail or in person at the DSHS main office in Austin. By mail: indicate the county of residence and write “Hurricane Harvey Relief” at the top of the VS 142.3 – Mail Application for a Certified Copy. Include acopy of identification when submitting the form.
- Local registrars should submit a copy of each application for certified copy that was issued free of charge when invoiced for payment. DSHS will issue a credit on your next invoice. Email questions about remote site payment.
- Certain hotels have contracted w/FEMA to provide temporary housing
- Maximum program time frame is 30 days, so until 09/26/17
- To find friends and family or to register yourself as safe, visit: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/
- Anyone needing help (not a life-threatening emergency): 211
- To report a missing child, contact the National Emergency Child Locator Center: 866-908-9570
- To talk to a professional who can help you cope with emotional distress from the storm, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990, visit http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov, or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
- Coast Guard Rescue Houston Area: 281-464-4851, *4852, *4853, *4584, *4855
- Towed Cars (Houston): 713-308-8580; www.findmytowedcar.com
Texas Education Agency Website Resources Related to Hurricane Recovery
Hurricane Harvey Resources for Parents: http://tea.texas.gov/HarveyParentResources/.
Dealing with Disasters: Frequently Asked Questions: http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Other_Services/Weather_and_Disaster/Dealing_with_Disasters__Frequently_Asked_Questions/
Hurricane Harvey Resources for School Systems: http://tea.texas.gov/ HarveyResources/
Harvey Help Resources: http://tea.texas.gov/ harveyhelp/
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is working to provide available resources and services to displaced and other affected Texans and will continue to monitor the effects of the storm to determine what additional steps we need to take to provide assistance.
Below is a list of resources available for those who have been affected as well as a link to frequently asked questions that will assist you as an employer.
Individuals affected by the recent severe storms in the following counties can apply for benefits online through Unemployment Benefit Services or by calling a TWC Tele-Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 800-939-6631: Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, and Wharton Counties. Individuals should specify that their applications are related to the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.
The work search requirement is waived for disaster-related regular unemployment claims and employer tax accounts are protected from any charge for such claims.
TWC is accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) as a result of severe weather due to Hurricane Harvey. Under Presidential Disaster Declaration (FEMA 4332-DR) dated August 25, 2017, workers who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to damage sustained from Hurricane Harvey may be eligible for relief. Applications for DUA must be submitted by September 27, 2017. TWC’s website contains more information about Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Individuals can apply for disaster unemployment benefits online through Unemployment Benefit Services or by calling a TWC Tele-Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 800-939-6631.
DUA is available to individuals who:
- have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits from any state, or do not qualify for unemployment benefits; many individuals could go straight to regular UI before switching over to DUA.
- worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in the disaster area;
- can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
- establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income;
- cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
- became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.
To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed. Required documentation includes Social Security number, a copy of the most recent federal income tax form or check stubs, or documentation to support that you were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred.
Applicants must mail in or fax all required documentation within 21 days from the date of the DUA application. Send mailed documentation to: Texas Workforce Commission, UI Support Services Department, Attn: DUA, 101 E. 15th St., N. Lamar, Austin, TX, 78778-0001, or fax it to512-936-3250.
Job seekers may visit local Workforce Solutions offices for access to job-search resources, job postings and training programs, as well as assistance with exploring career options, résumé and application preparation, career development and more. Customers also may connect with potential employers through TWC’s online job-search engine, by visiting WorkinTexas.com.
Frequently Asked Questions From Employers: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/hurricane-faqs.html.
These and other employment law-related questions may be directed to the toll-free hotline for employers at 1-800-832-9394, Monday–Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm.
Other Government Resources Available to Employers:
INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE (Assistance to individuals and households):
Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Wharton Counties.
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE (Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities): Bee, Goliad, Kleberg, Nueces, San Patricio, and Refugio Counties for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.
HAZARD MITIGATION GRANT PROGRAM (Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards):
All counties in the State of Texas are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Visit FEMA on Facebook and Twitter
- Sign up for FEMA email alerts during a disaster
- Sign up for FEMA’s Daily Situation Report
- View the FEMA Social HUB to view emergency social media sources
- View FEMA’s Data Feeds
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Visit the National Weather Center on Facebook and Twitter
- Visit the Weather Prediction Center on Facebook
- View NOAA’s Data Feeds
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emergency Response and Preparedness
- Visit the CDC on Facebook and the Emergency Response and Preparedness Twitter page
- View the CDC’s Data Feeds
- DisasterAssistance.gov offers help for communities and individuals that have been impacted by a disaster.
- Ready.gov has additional information and tools to help a community and individuals prepare for a disaster.
- HUD’s web page, on Disaster Preparedness, Response, Recovery, and Homelessness, contains several resources to help communities best address homelessness during various phases of a disaster.
- Additional disaster resources are available on the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website at http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/disaster-resources/index.htm, or by clicking on the Disaster Relief Resources box in the right column of the TDHCA home page at www.tdhca.state.tx.us<http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us>. Callers can also call TDHCA at 800-525-0657.
- The federal declaration makes available federal aid programs for eligible households: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/08/25/federal-aid-programs-state-texas. Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
- FEMA Critical Needs Assistance (“CNA”) Program https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1751-25045-4204/critical_needs_assistance_for_displaced_individuals_and_hous.pdf
- Good basic info on this page. Be sure to check out the Rumor Control section, too.
- U.S. Coast Guard – Houston Search and Rescue information: https://twitter.com/TDHCA/status/902239400112918529
If You’re a Homeowner
Homeowners impacted by Hurricane Harvey may qualify for forbearance, a temporary suspension or reduction of their mortgage payment. Read Freddie Mac’s disaster relief policies or Fannie Mae’s statement on assistance for Hurricane Harvey homeowners for more details.