Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson on Monday announced he is approving a $74.5 million plan to help 29 East Texas counties to recover from the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Rita.

The disaster recovery funding, provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, will be distributed among four regional planning agencies to target unmet housing and infrastructure needs along the Texas Gulf Coast.

“Texas will put this funding to work where the needs are greatest,” Jackson said. “There are a number of communities along the East Texas Gulf Coast with significant needs, including thousands of homes that were damaged or destroyed. This plan will go a long way toward meeting these needs and helping homeowners to get back on their feet.”

In January, Jackson allocated the emergency CDBG funding to Texas to support the state’s long-term recovery efforts. The state may use up to 5 percent of the funding ($3.7 million) to cover the administrative costs of the recovery program. The “partial action plan” approved Monday will distribute the remaining $70.8 million among the following four regional planning organizations to help meet their communities’ minimum housing and non-housing related needs:

Deep East Texas Council of Governments: More than $19 million, or approximately 27 percent of the state’s emergency disaster assistance, will be distributed among Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler counties.

East Texas Council of Governments: $2 million of the CDBG funding will target non-housing-related needs in Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Panola, and Rusk counties.

Houston-Galveston Area Council: $10.7 million, or approximately 15 percent of the state’s disaster funding, will help meet both the housing and non-housing needs in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Walker counties.

South East Texas Regional Planning Commission: Nearly $39 million, or 55 percent of HUD’s disaster funding, will assist Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange Counties.

The Texas plan will use HUD’s disaster recovery funding to assist in meeting the state’s housing needs including property acquisition, demolition, repair, reconstruction, and new construction. Non-housing activities may include flood and drainage projects, road and bridge repair, water and sewer upgrades, debris removal, and park and recreational facility improvements.

To read the full text of Texas’ approved action plan, visit HUD’s Web site.

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