Officials are concerned that Harvey-affected homeowners aren’t taking advantage of a program to repair and rebuild their property.
The Homeowner Assistance Program is administered by the Texas General Land Office and provides assistance through rehabilitating homes, reconstruction, improving homes to be stronger against natural disasters, elevating homes above flood level and temporary relocation assistance.
Brittany Eck, director of communications at the state office, said that despite applications coming in slower in Victoria County, one of the first homes to begin construction through the program is located in Victoria County.
Only 19 completed applications have been submitted in the county.
“We are definitely hoping to encourage more homeowners whose primary residences were damaged in Hurricane Harvey to apply for this program,” she said, in an email. “There is currently $116,828,970 in funds allocated to helping homeowners (in the region) with repairs and reconstruction of damaged homes.”
Eck recommends potential applicants look up the application checklist so they can bring all the documents needed with them to the office.
Fewer Victoria County homeowners have submitted applications for the program than in other counties, said Dolly Stokes, treasurer of the Victoria County Long-Term Recovery Group and executive director of the Victoria County United Way.
She said those interested can go directly to the Grant Works office at 2208 Leary Lane for assistance filling out an application or call 361-485-0000.
The hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, except Thursday, when the office closes at 7 p.m. The office is also open 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The transit route is the gold route, stop No. 13.
Commissioner George P. Bush taped a public service announcement in both English and Spanish to get the word out and plans to visit the regional office in Victoria next week.