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Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Requests Funding for Victims of Hurricane Harvey Who Were Previously Denied Relief

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) led Members in a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting $45 million for Texans wrongly denied disaster relief under a duplication of benefits rule.  

“As you develop the Fiscal Year 2023 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you appropriate at least $45 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grants-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program for victims of Hurricane Harvey that were previously and inappropriately barred from receiving these funds,” the letter reads

“After the Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Harvey, the federal government offered much-needed disaster aid.  While several Texans qualified for FEMA assistance, those who were denied FEMA relief were offered a low-interest, direct loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to jump-start disaster recovery.  Businesses, nonprofits, homeowners, and renters used these loans to repair or replace property damaged in this devastating storm, allowing them to begin the recovery process and return to their homes and work as quickly as possible.  Loan applicants received these funds with the understanding and assurance from SBA that the loans would not disqualify them from CDBG-DR grants from HUD.  They later learned, however, that a duplication of benefits rule disqualified their grant applications.  

“We ask that the Appropriations Committee and Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Subcommittee provide at least $45 million to make this right for our constituents, many of whom are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey after nearly five years.  They put their trust in our federal agencies to help them recover from this historic storm and have been delayed through no fault of their own.”

Congresswoman Fletcher has consistently worked to ensure delivery of disaster assistance, disaster mitigation funding, and common-sense improvements to the disaster recovery process,, including the House-passed  Hazard Eligibility and Local Projects Act, H.R. 1917, to speed up disaster mitigation and recovery projects.  Last month, she secured more than $11 million for water infrastructure projects in Texas’ Seventh Congressional District, including the Meyergrove Detention Basin, and Bellaire and Jersey Village Waterlines. 

As the letter notes, in 2020, Congresswoman Fletcher and Congressman Dan Crenshaw introduced an amendment to H.R. 5687, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act, that provided $45 million for CDBG-DR grants for these eligible Texans.  While the amendment was included when this bill passed the House, the Senate did not vote on this legislation.

To view the full text of the letter, click here.