Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Leads Letter to HUD Requesting Waiver to Expedite Recovery Process

Houston, October 4, 2019
(Houston, TX) – Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) and members of the Houston delegation wrote to the Regional Environmental Officer at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) supporting the Texas General Land Office’s (GLO) interpretation of a waiver to reduce the area around a home that must be included for environmental reviews of disaster recovery projects.

GLO requested this waiver from HUD after their rules were released in August on distributing the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) funds. On September 4, the Director of Housing and Community Development Department for the City of Houston wrote a letter to HUD supporting the same waiver.

“It is important that an adequate radius requirement for environmental review be established for the deployment of these funds that does not slow or impede the urgently needed projects this money will go towards. HUD recently determined that analogous noise analysis requirements do not apply to disaster recovery projects. Similar clarity with regards to environmental radius requirements will expedite the process of restoring properties damaged during Hurricane Harvey and limit the potential for exposure to hazards,” the members wrote.

In 2018, Congress appropriated $28 billion in CDBG-DR funds to rebuild after disasters and mitigate against future storms. $4.383 billion of those funds were allocated to Texas as it recovered from Hurricane Harvey. On August 23, thanks to the passage of Congresswoman Fletcher’s bipartisan amendment, HUD published the rules governing the use of these funds in the Federal Register.

The letter was signed by Reps. Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Al Green (TX-09), Michael McCaul (TX-10), Pete Olson (TX-22), and Randy Weber (TX-14).

Read the full letter here.