FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 09/08/2017
Hurricane Harvey Citizen Resources
(Austin, TX) – State Representative James White has received many questions regarding disaster relief resources available to Texans. We understand that many are facing difficult times and it is imperative that we provide information regarding assistance available to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The office of Rep. White is available to all constituents who need help applying for these programs.
1. All Southeast Texans that live in Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, and Tyler counties need to click here https://www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362; or TTY 1-800-462-7585 to access federal resources for individual relief.
2. The Texas Department of Agriculture provides resources Southeast Texas farmers and ranchers affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. http://www.texasagriculture.gov/Home/ProductionAgriculture/DisasterAssistance/STARFund.aspx on how to access these resources. Or email Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov or call 512.463.9932 to get more information on applying for these resources. FARMERS AND RANCHERS IN JASPER, HARDIN, NEWTON, POLK, AND NEWTON COUNTIES HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 27, 2017 AT 5:00 P.M. TO APPLY.
3. Federal disaster loan assistance for Southeast Texas businesses, homeowners, private non-profits, and renters impacted by Hurricane Harvey should click here to apply: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
4. This USDA resource has a wealth of Hurricane Harvey related information for agriculture producers: https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/storms.
5. Every community, small business, apartment complex owner, water system, homeowner in Jasper, Hardin, Newton, Polk, and Tyler should apply for the opportunities provided by the USDA Rural Development Disaster Assistance: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/services/rural-development-disaster-assistance.
• Business loan guarantees: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-industry-loan-guarantees.
• Rural development grants: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants.
• Intermediary Re-Lending Program: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/intermediary-relending-program.
• Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-economic-development-loan-grant-program.
6. Southeast Texans should go to this link http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/disaster-unemployment-assistance to apply for unemployment wage loss assistance and learn about their employee rights under a Presidential Declaration.
7. Governor Abbott has directed the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to provide Hurricane Harvey impacted Southeast Texans relief. Go to this this link to learn about the exemptions and relief: http://www.txdmv.gov/harvey.
8. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is working with local school districts to insure that Texas public school students in Harvey disaster counties have no-cost hot meals at school until 9/30: https://texasagriculture.gov/NewsEvents/NewsEventsDetails/tabid/76/Article/4335/Commissioner-Miller-Authorizes-School-Meals-at-No-Cost-in-Federal-Disaster-Areas.aspx.
9. Go to this link and review special expanded food benefits for Southeast Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey: https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/communications-events/news-releases/2017/09/texas-announces-food-benefits-victims-hurricane-harvey.
10. If you become eligible for FEMA temporary transitional assistance follow this link for participating hotels and motels: http://www.femaevachotels.com.
11. Gov. Abbott has opened state parks to Hurricane Harvey evacuees based on park eligibility: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/park-information/evacuee-parks.
12. State Rep. James White values the contributions and service of TDCJ employees in maintains safe communities in Texas. TDCJ employees affected by Hurricane Harvey should call 1-888-387-4357: https://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/alert_employee_hotline.html.
13. Gov. Abbott has directed the DPS to provide a no-cost replacement DL or ID card for Southeast Texans in Hurricane Harvey impacted counties, provided they had previously been issued a Texas DL or ID card. http://www.dps.texas.gov/administration/driver_licensing_control/rolodex/search.asp.
14. Gov. Abbott has provided Southeast Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey relief from burdensome Drivers’ Responsibility Program (DRP). These Texans that have outstanding DRP surcharges will not be required to make payments for 60 days, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. NO ACTION IS REQUIRED BY THESE IMPACTED TEXANS; DPS will implement the change internally.
15. Governor Abbott has partnered with the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation on raising money for a relief fund to assist Southeast Texans affected by Harvey. If you wish to contribute, follow this link: https://www.rebuildtx.org.
16. Texas Health and Human Services has information available for providers at https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/medicaid-chip/provider-information/hurricane-harvey-information-providers and for those impacted and need assistance at https://hhs.texas.gov/services/financial/disaster-assistance. Additionally an a page with frequently asked questions and answers is available for quick inquiries: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/TXHHSC/2017/09/06/file_attachments/875424/hurricane-harvey-faq.pdf.
17. The Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs has identified several millions of dollars for housing assistance. These funds will be available through the Community Services Block Grant. Money can be used for necessities and utility assistance and to qualify you must be 125% of poverty level. $50,000 has been distributed to each of our counties:
Hardin – Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission: 409-899-8444 ext. 3387
Jasper – Tri-County Community Action: 409-489-4016
Newton – Tri-County Community Action: 409-283-7867
Polk – Greater East Texas Community Action: 936-327-3011
Tyler – Tri-County Community Action: 409-283-7867
Additionally the TDHCA website has resources for searching for affordable apartments for those in need. Resources are available at http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/disaster-resources/index.htm.
18. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is providing 24/7 help to those experiencing distress related to the disaster. They can be reached at 1-800-985-5990 or at their website at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline.
19. The U.S. Small Business Association has low-interest loans available for homes and businesses for those eligible due to damages from the hurricane. https://www.sba.gov/loans-grants/see-what-sba-offers/sba-loan-programs/disaster-loans/2017-hurricane-harvey-recovery-assistance.
20.The Texas Apartment Association has key resources that may help find affordable housing as well. https://www.taa.org/resources/hurricane-harvey-disaster-relief-resources/.
21. For stores that accept WIC that are open near you visit the locator found here: https://find.storesnear.me/displaylocator/1533. Additionally, WIC can help those who have lost their card or need to check their benefits. For info call 1-800-WIC-FORU or visit http://texaswic.dshs.state.tx.us/wiclessons/english/about/.
22. A broad list of disaster assistance programs created by HHSC can be found here: https://yourtexasbenefits.hhsc.texas.gov/programs/other/disaster-help.
If you are in need of assistance in applying and coordinating with these services do not hesitate to contact our office. Staff at either the Woodville district office and Austin Capitol office are available to help Southeast Texans during this time. Citizens may call 409-283-3700 or 512-463-0490. Additionally, email correspondence may be sent to District19.White@house.texas.gov.