Storm recovery efforts in Rockport are getting a huge financial boost. The Texas General Land Office is sending $10 million to the area to rebuild rental housing. Some of that money has already been awarded.
Even nine months after Hurricane Harvey, many apartments remain completely destroyed. Now $6.5 million dollars are headed to Rockport to rebuild multi-family housing units, and get people back in their homes. Two apartment complexes will get that money.
"It’s hard, you know. You never know if you’re going to get kicked out of somebody’s place, and then you’re wondering, where you going to live next?" Rockport Sarina Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez and her teenage son have been displaced from their Rockport apartment for nine months, since it was damaged by Harvey. Although she does not live in the Oak Harbor or Salt Grass apartments, which were destroyed in the hurricane, she knows what life has been life for their displaced residents.
But now, both of those apartment complexes will be rebuilt.
Each complex has been awarded funding from the Texas General Land Office. Oak Harbor will get $1.5 million for repairs, and $5 million will towards completely rebuilding Salt Grass.
The GLO got the money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funds are reserves from previous disasters.
Funding to open the doors of these apartment complexes is a big step for the area’s Long-Term Recovery Team, which serves Aransas County, Rockport, and Fulton. It is part of their goal to get a workforce back in the Rockport area.
"They’ve been displaced. We understand that, that they had to move on with their lives. But we want them to come back," William Whitson, with the Long-Term Recovery Team, said. "There are jobs available. What we need to do is find people places to stay. And this is a step forward in that direction."
It is a step that cannot happen soon enough for other storm victims.
"I don’t like to impose on people. All this has just got a pull on me, you know it’s stress, anxiety, depression. I like to have my own place," Gonzalez said.
The General Land Office says other funds will be awarded soon for more rebuilding projects like this in the coastal bend. The remaining $3.5 million of this GLO funding will be awarded to another apartment complex in upcoming days.
The GLO also expects to get even more funding from HUD, as well as the Governor’s office.
To submit an application for future funding, contact the Long-Term Recovery Team at 361-790-9496.