In September of 2019–two short years after Hurricane Harvey– the Texas Gulf Coast was hit with Tropical Storm Imelda. The storm lasted through the weekend and was dubbed the worst storm in Texas since Harvey, leaving in its wake 5 deaths and innumerable losses. The heavy rainfall shut down most roadways and flooded vehicles, buildings, and homes. Imelda hit hardest in Galveston and Beaumont and left $5 billion of damages scattered through the state in its wake. Though some Texans have recuperated from the casualties, there are many people that still require assistance for damages resulting from this storm
The Homeowner Assistance and Reimbursement Programs (HARP) aims to help homeowners affected by 2018/2019 disasters make necessary repairs. This assistance includes:
- Repairing and rehabilitating homes
- Improving damaged homes in preparation for future natural disasters
- Elevating homes above flood level
- Temporary relocation assistance
- Reimbursement for up to $50,000 for out-of-pocket repair expenses, such as
- Repayment of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans
How do I qualify?
Homeowners affected by the 2018/2019 disasters living in one of the following eligible counties qualify for assistance:
Rio Grande Valley Region: Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Willacy
Southeast Texas Region: Chambers, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Orange, San Jacinto,
Where and how can you apply?
You may apply for the Rio Grande Valley region or the Southeast Texas Region online. You may also schedule an appointment to meet with an Applicant Coordinator at designated HARP offices. Addresses and office hours can be found on the HARP website.
What’s next after you apply?
Staff will follow up with applicants within a week of receiving the application; applicants will then have 2 weeks to respond to requests for additional information, if necessary.
Once an applicant is notified of preliminary eligibility, an environmental review and damage assessment will be scheduled for the applicant’s home. If they are approved, a program member will notify the applicant of what kind of assistance they are qualified to receive. Construction will begin when the program agreements have been signed and reimbursement is approved.
You can track your application status here.
If you have been denied, you may submit an appeal within ten days of the decision, first at the local level with your regional applicant coordinator and then directly through the Texas General Land Office.
Visit the Homeowner Assistance and Reimbursement Programs page for resources in English and Spanish.
Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at www.lonestarlegal.org
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