Rapidly draining FEMA funding: Texas to receive $15 billion in emergency money to stem the flow

By: Tracee Evans
| Published 10/13/2017


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas -- Nearly $15 billion of emergency disaster funding for Texas has passed through the U.S. House of Representatives, including $11 billion to pay for anticipated claims for flood insurance for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX 8th District), along with members of a Texas delegation, released the following joint statement after passage of the disaster supplemental appropriations package.

"Our top priority is to make sure money doesn't run out in the next few weeks for Texas homeowners eager to rebuild their homes, as well as communities counting on FEMA funding for temporary housing, debris removal and infrastructure repairs for roads and schools," said Representatives John Culberson of Houston, John Carter of Round Rock, and Kay Granger of Fort Worth, chairmen of key Appropriations Committee panels in Congress. “These emergency needs require action right now or a lot of Texans will be hurt. We are keeping our eyes focused on the long term recovery needs for Texas -- which could exceed $100 billion -- and we will continue to work closely with Governor Abbott and our community leaders to secure that funding in the weeks ahead.”

The delegation said the flood insurance program is expected to run out of money within weeks – meaning Texas claims would not be paid – and FEMA funding will be exhausted soon due to the faster than expected drawdown to address Hurricane Maria claims.

The measure also includes an estimated $4 billion for the FEMA disaster relief fund for Texas.

The new FEMA funding for Texas will provide direct housing assistance, home repairs, debris removal and public assistance grants to eligible communities to begin repairs of roads, utility work, schools and public buildings.

In addition to the $15 billion, Texas cities will also have access to a $4.9 billion pool for grants for Community Disaster Loans. These loans help communities with revenue losses due to disasters, so the communities can pay for police and fire protection and other critical local needs during their recovery.