Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that half of the more than $1 billion in hazard mitigation money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is available now. The rest of the FEMA money is expected by the one-year anniversary of Harvey’s landfall in late August. .
The FEMA funds will be available for cities and counties to be used for:
- Buyouts and elevations of flood prone properties
- Drainage and reservoir projects that eliminate future flooding
- Projects to lessen the frequency or severity of flooding
- Flood risk reduction projects (dams, retention basins, levees, floodwalls)
- Large-scale channeling of waterways
FEMA money covers 75 percent of project costs, while local governments provide the remaining 25 percent. However, Abbott said that the state has secured federal funding to cover the 25 percent for approved Hurricane Harvey projects.
Applications for projects will be handled by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
Abbott also said the $5 billion Community Development Block Grants approved by Congress should be available by the end of March. These grants will be handled by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and will cover 100 percent of costs for infrastructure and housing projects for both local governments and individuals.