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GLO uses disaster recovery funds to repair area apartments

GLO uses $588 million in disaster recovery funds
Sierra Apartments
Sierra Royale Apartments
Refugio Elderly Apartments
Posted at 6:47 AM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 08:04:23-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas General Land Office is celebrating the completion of two affordable rental housing complexes with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.

The housing complexes the GLO worked to complete are in Robstown and Refugio. While it's been several months since the apartment complexes welcomed back people who live there, the public couldn't get an inside look until now.

“They replaced everything in the apartment," Refugio Elderly Housing resident Jack Vaden said. "Cabinets, stove, ice box, tub, shower, floors even rebuilt the closets."

It's been a complete makeover. That's how the people who live at Refugio Elderly Housing describe the work done by the GLO.

“It had been here 27 or 28 years," local residents Bill and Barbara Lowkey said. "They were just remodeling and it needed it."

The Texas General Land Office says 36 apartment homes saw major changes including some at the Sierra Royale Apartments in Robstown.

“We had many apartment complexes in that area that were significantly damaged or even destroyed because the storm first hit or made landfall in that area,” GLO director Brittany Eck said.

That storm she's talking about is Hurricane Harvey.

Eck says by using $588 million in funds from the Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery, the GLO was able to help rehabilitate, reconstruct and construct some homes.

“We want folks to know that not only were those dollars allocated and awarded to projects but the projects are now complete,” she said.

Eck says the GLO used the funding to help improve 80 multi-family rental housing units that were damaged or destroyed in 48 surrounding counties.

Forty of those units have been completed and 40 others are still under construction including in Rockport.

“We’re building a high quality, energy efficient, more resilient home that will stand against the next storm,” said Eck.

The people who live at Refugio Elderly Housing Apartments say this rebuilding was important to them.

“It turned out real well," Vaden said. "I'm very happy. I love Refugio."

Eck says it's important to the Texas General Land Office to provide adequate and affordable housing in these rural areas because it needs workforce members to stay in the Coastal Bend.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be happening at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Sierra Royale Apartments and at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Refugio Elderly Housing Apartments.