CITIZEN COMMENTS NEEDED BY MAY 1, 2018

UPDATE: The GLO extended the public comments deadline from 4/26 to 5/1 - this has been updated throughout to reflect the change.

There is a critical need for your help in the next 14 days, so let me explain how WE THE PEOPLE can make the difference in securing maximum federal recovery funds for our area.

The GLO comment form can be found here

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has allocated $5.024 billion in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds to the State of Texas for Hurricane Harvey Recovery. In accordance with the Federal Register, the State Action Plan will be available for public comment.

The State Action Plan details the distribution and eligible uses of the $5.024 billion in Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) to assist Texas communities with long-term recovery following Hurricane Harvey. HOWEVER, the comment period on the State Action Plan is only open until TUESDAY, MAY 1st.

HERE IS THE FIRST NEED

The federal statute requires 70% of these funds be used to support activities benefitting low-to-moderate income persons. In past years, the GLO has successfully sought and recieved waivers to reduce that from 70% to 50% AND WE NEED THIS WAIVER AGAIN.

I am personally writing a request to Commissioner Bush to ask for him to pursue this maximum flexibility in the use of CDBG funds. Too many households and communities in Precinct 3 have undergone massive setbacks from Harvey, which affected everyone regardless of income levels. To ensure a robust and lasting recovery, we need to seek and obtain this benefit requirements waiver for the CDBG funds.

PLEASE VOICE YOUR COMMENTS via this link to the GLO comment form in the next 14 DAYS, asking Commissioner Bush to do everything possible to secure this low-to-moderate income requirement waiver.

HERE IS THE SECOND NEED

There is another topic that you should be aware of and involved in voicing your opinion. The GLO will soon be allocating money to pursue regional flood prevention and mitigation studies. Currently, they are considering bypassing our local drainage experts, engineers, firms, and flood prevention experts to outsource this important task to a University study. Which university, we don't know, but this is something that I adamantly oppose.

I urge you to join with me and other officials from across our Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments in writing comments to the GLO and asking them to use the engineers that are already working with our community to restore our neighborhoods and fix our problems here on the ground, instead of outsourcing this critical work to the theoretical academics at a university.

The GLO comment form can be found here

The GLO will accept comments submitted by 5pm on May 1st, 2018 using their online form or via USPS mail, fax, or email using the following information:

Texas General Land Office - Community Development and Revitalization
P.O. Box 12873
Austin, TX 78711-2873
Fax: 512-475-5150
Email: cdr@glo.texas.gov

Thank you for your support on this critical matter - please do everything you can to help spread the word to your friends and neighbors on social media. WE THE PEOPLE are strong and we are ready to make our combined voices heard!