Fletcher, Crenshaw Bipartisan Amendment to Provide Additional $45 Million in Funding for Harvey Recovery Passes House
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-07) and Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02) announced their bipartisan amendment to provide $45 million in additional relief for households impacted by Hurricane Harvey passed the House of Representatives today. The amendment was included as a part of the disaster supplemental legislation that will be voted on today.
“In my district and throughout our community, many are still working to recover from Harvey's devastating impact. I am always looking for ways to help with our recovery. When I saw the opportunity to correct to the denial of benefits to Harvey survivors who were denied federal assistance because they took out SBA loans, I was glad to partner with Congressman Crenshaw to deliver these funds for our community,” said Congresswoman Fletcher. “During Harvey, our community demonstrated that we are at our best when we are working together to solve problems – and this bipartisan amendment reflects that very Houston spirit.”
“This will provide needed relief to Texans continuing to recover from the devastation of Harvey two years later. I am hearing from self-reliant, resilient Houstonians who took it upon themselves to take a Small Business Administration loan to speed up their recovery, only to be denied further relief because the government had yet to implement needed changes to federal law,” said Congressman Crenshaw. “This amendment directs sufficient, targeted resources to those most in need. I’m proud to join with my colleague across the aisle, Rep. Fletcher, to help Texans who are still rebuilding after Harvey.”
After Hurricane Harvey, many Texans took out loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster recovery with the understanding that the loans would not disqualify them from additional grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). But a duplication of benefits rule disqualified their grant applications.
In June 2019, HUD amended the duplication of benefits rules to ensure that Texans who received an SBA loan after Harvey could be eligible for HUD grant funding. Although this rule changed, no funding has yet been appropriated to grant assistance programs. Fletcher and Crenshaw’s amendment will provide $45 million in funding specifically to help households affected by Hurricane Harvey.
In October 2019, Congresswoman Fletcher and Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX-22) led members of the Texas delegation in sending a letter to the Texas General Land Office about this issue, asking when denied families would receive help under the new guidelines. This amendment takes a measurable step toward providing that assistance.