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State Rep. Hunter: 'We Are The Forgotten'; Lawmakers Call For Swifter Harvey Housing Assistance

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
Port Aransas, weeks following Hurricane Harvey

Some state lawmakers say the phrase “home for the holidays” is in complete contrast to the situation Coastal Bend residents are faced with this season, as they continue to deal with the effects of Hurricane Harvey.  




Members of the House Committee on Urban Affairs and other Texas lawmakers were on the road again, meeting Monday in Corpus Christi to go over the region’s short- and long-term housing needs for people whose homes were destroyed during Hurricane Harvey.


State Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, is one of those representing parts of Nueces and Aransas counties, including the part of Corpus Christi some feel have been neglected by the state.


“I think that through all the activity that we hear, it seems to be forgotten. The hurricane started in this area, and I think that many of people in this room feel we were also the first forgotten,” Hunter told the committee.


Hunter said there is a new definition of homelessness in Aransas and Nueces counties for those still waiting for federal housing assistance or an assigned travel trailer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency , which is being administered through the state’s General Land Office.


“We have people living in tents, which is unacceptable,” he said.


Hunter said when residents in tourism-driven areas have nowhere to live, they generally just relocate to another area of the state.


Officials with the state’s General Land Office say FEMA has awarded some type of payout or long-term housing assistance to an estimated 330,000 of the 890,000 Gulf Coast residents who have applied.


Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter at @RyanPoppe1

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.