Thursday AM January 21st, 2009

Funds for repairing or rebuilding homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ike are available for low- and moderate-income residents of Galveston County. The program is funded through block grants earmarked to speed recovery from presidentially-declared disasters, as Ed Mayberry reports.

Applicants are now being registered at outreach centers in Bacliff, Galveston, Texas City and Crystal Beach for repair grants of up to $85,000 or for rebuilding grants of up to $125,000.  James Wilson is Director of Housing for Galveston County.

"We still have several thousand homes that are not livable or do not exist.  And between the city and the county, we expect probably two or three thousand families that are not currently in their home that we hope to have in their home in the months ahead.  This is not TARP money, this is money Congress appropriated through HUD for the purpose of getting a lot of low- and moderate-income families back in their homes.  The City of Galveston has a separate pot of money.  Our county program covers all other areas, including all the municipalities within the county." 

Wilson says applicants are matched for rebuilding and repairs with contractors approved by the county.

"We're requiring all new homes to meet the new building standards, and as you meet the new building standards, they withstand, you know, higher-force winds and stronger tropical storms.  And second, we have a thing called a base flood elevation, and we're requiring the finished floor to be at or above the base flood elevation, which will cut down and minimize the amount of flooding in the future.  This program also includes rental properties."  

For more information about applying, visit the HUD Community Development Block Grants for Galveston County web site or call 877-221-8215.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...