The scale of the housing recovery effort means some jobs normally handles by FEMA have fallen to the Texas General Land Office.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, according to Brandon Formby of the Texas Tribune, "the Federal Emergency Management Agency worried that it didn’t have the capability to handle what was quickly becoming the largest housing recovery effort in American history."
"So [Texas Governor Greg] Abbott tasked the state’s General Land Office with a job that typically falls to FEMA: running short-term housing programs for Harvey victims. That undertaking includes everything from lining up contractors for minor repairs to securing trailers for displaced families."
Abbott has been criticized for waiting three weeks to employ the GLO for short-term housing, but "Abbott, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and FEMA officials touted the unprecedented arrangement as a way to rewrite the nation’s disaster response playbook."
Since then, Formby writes, "initial public optimism has crashed against the reality of trying to re-engineer an already-byzantine process of getting disaster aid to hurricane survivors."
"The state-led plan was raising alarms from federal officials as well. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General said in a Sept. 29 'management alert' that because FEMA still hadn’t developed policies and procedures for the disaster recovery efforts, officials in hard-hit communities had been forced to develop housing plans themselves on a 'disaster-by-disaster basis.'"
In recent weeks, the federal government has promised a billion dollars for Harvey recovery by the first anniversary of the storm, with half of the money available right away.
Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes
The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.
LA Freeway Ramp ‘Quietly Canceled’
A 2018 lawsuit forced Metro and Caltrans to do full environmental reviews of the project, leading to its cancellation.
LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water
The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.
Understanding Accessibility in the Public Right-of-Way
A ‘best practices’ manual guides accessibility on streets and sidewalks, but remains legally unenforceable.
Newark Kicks Off $1 Home Sale Program
The city sold seven properties as part of an effort to revive blighted sites and encourage housing production.
Micromobility Operators Call for Better Links to Transit
For shared mobility to succeed, systems must tap into the connectivity and funding potential offered by closer collaboration with public transit.
Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.