In an unusual joint letter to Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, three top HUD leaders told Galveston to move forward to rebuild public housing destroyed by Hurricane Ike or face the loss of federal funding.
The July 13, 2011 letter was signed by Mercedes Marquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, John Trasvina, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and Sandra Henriquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.
The letter concluded…
The October 6, 2010 letter to you from the executive directors of TDHCA and TDRA requesting the City Council to direct the Galveston Housing Authority to develop a plan for the one-for-one replacement of public housing within the City of Galveston is fully consistent with the Conciliation Agreement. Failure to cooperate with the State in carrying out its obligations puts the Conciliation Agreement in jeopardy. It is also likely to further stall the expenditure of billions of dollars in relief to Texans recovering from Hurricane Ike and may result in the withholding of assistance to the City of Galveston. Further, City actions which impede the Housing Authority from rebuilding public housing may put the city’s regular CDBG funding at risk next year and in future years.
The conciliation agreement was signed in May of last year between the State of Texas, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service and Texas Appleseed and approved by HUD. It requires reconstruction of the 569 public housing units destroyed by Hurricane Ike in the City of Galveston. The City of Galveston and the Galveston Housing Authority have missed deadlines to get the rebuilding program started.
It way past time for Galveston to get the rebuilding under way.