Above photo by Jay Janner for the Austin American Statesman
Mayors of smaller coastal towns decried the slow pace of recovery in their municipalities compared to cities like Houston and Corpus Christi. According to a report in the American-Stateman the mayor of Rockport claims that fewer than 400 of the town’s 1,300 business had re-opened and affordable housing was almost entirely destroyer.
George P. Bush, head of Texas’ General Land Office expressed his frustration with the red tape encountered by Harvey survivors seeking assistance. In requesting a more “user-friendly” experience he highlighted the confusing requirement to apply for a small business loan to qualify for FEMA-issued temporary housing:
“The average evacuee has to fill out a voluminous loan package that the Small Business Administration requires. To qualify for FEMA-issued temporary housing assistance, you have to apply for a SBA loan. It doesn’t matter if the SBA declines the loan or they accept — FEMA will not deliver assistance unless this loan package is completed.”