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On Oct. 31, Harris County commissioners approved an agreement with the Texas General Land Office for a combined $863 million in grant funding to the Harris County Flood Control District that will be allocated for flood-risk reduction projects associated with the 2018 flood control district bond program.
Two different Texas GLO grants were approved, and each grant is associated with a different mandated completion date, according to court documents.
- For the $541 million grant, those flood-risk reduction projects are expected to be completed by March 31, 2028.
- For the $322 million grant, those flood-risk reduction projects are expected to be completed by March 31, 2026.
The HCFCD updates its completed 2018 bond projects and also lists items with their status on this website: completed bond summaries.
Federal funding for disaster recovery and disaster mitigation funds comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Texas GLO administers the funds.
According to court agenda documents, when it comes to funding partnership opportunities for projects related to the flood control district’s 2018 bond program, prior court action between the HCFCD and the Texas GLO have taken place since Aug. 31, 2022, including:
- Feb. 21: Harris County Commissioners Court approves the Harris County Community Services Department’s method of distribution for grant funds.
- March 14: Harris County Commissioners Court authorizes the HCFCD to work directly with the Texas GLO on a direct allocation of $322,033,863 in Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery funds for projects associated with the 2018 bond program.
- June 6: Harris County Commissioners Court approves project applications that were submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for disaster mitigation and disaster recovery federal funding.
- July 18: Harris County Commissioners Court authorizes the HCFCD to work directly with Texas GLO on a direct allocation of $502.5 million from the original $750 million Harris County CDBG Mitigation. During negotiations with the Texas GLO and the HCFCD, an additional $39,347,826 in funds was offered by Texas GLO, resulting in the total direct allocation of $541,847,826 in funds for flood-risk reduction projects.
- Oct. 31: Harris County Commissioners Court approves the combined $863,881,689 in disaster mitigation and disaster recovery federal funds from the Texas GLO.
How we got here
After Hurricane Harvey devastation in 2017, Harris County voters approved in August 2018 a $2.5 billion bond measure to finance flood damage reduction projects.
Since then, according to the HCFCD’s website, bond projects have been funded, including:
- $400 million to build stormwater detention basins
- $242 million for flood plain land acquisition
- $12.5 million for new flood plain mapping
- $1.25 million for improving the county’s flood warning system
In September, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated communities across the country that are at high-risk for natural disasters and termed the areas as “disaster resilience zones.” According to FEMA, Harris County has 14 high-risk zones, which is more than any other county in the United States.
With that designation, FEMA officials said in a news release those areas will be eligible for increased federal support to become more resilient to natural hazards and extreme weather worsened by climate change.