PREPS Program Applauded for "No Findings" Audit

GLO PRESS RELEASE — Jul 31, 2018 

AUSTIN — Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush applauded his team for their outstanding performance in achieving a "no findings" result in a recent audit of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procurement and accounting requirements from the Hurricane Harvey direct housing response. While a "no findings" audit is extremely rare, the outcome is especially remarkable as it was achieved by the first state agency ever to be tasked with partnering with FEMA in the implementation of disaster housing assistance programs for the most devastating storm to strike Texas in generations.

"The Texas General Land Office is proud of its efforts to deliver disaster housing recovery assistance faster and more effectively in response to Hurricane Harvey - with new programs never offered previously - through a historic partnership with FEMA," said Commissioner Bush. "To be the first state agency tasked with this challenging mission and manage to deliver such an impeccable audit in its administration for taxpayer funds is extraordinary. Not only did this exceptional team work tirelessly each day since Harvey made landfall to help their fellow Texans, they showed meticulousness and expertise with prudent management of taxpayer dollars. I am tremendously proud of this accomplishment."

The audit performed by FEMA examined the GLO's administration of the temporary housing program, which involved coordination at the federal, state, and local level. Hurricane Harvey is one of the costliest storms to ever hit the U.S. and cause devastation in at least 49 counties. Due to the size of the recovery mission, Governor Greg Abbott tapped the GLO with being be the first state agency to ever partner with FEMA on a short-term housing recovery mission in response to a natural disaster. Thanks largely to the oversight of the GLO accounting team, the agency received a report of "no findings", meaning the program was in full compliance with federal financial guidelines - a result rarely achieved by government programs. 

"I want to congratulate my team for not only being dedicated to helping Hurricane Harvey survivors get on the road to recovery, but being diligent in protecting and tracking taxpayer dollars," said Pete Phillips, Senior Director for Community Development and Revitalization, the program area responsible for the direct housing mission. "This audit highlights the monumental accounting task the GLO took on immediately following our designation as the short-term housing agency. The unsung heroes in accounting, audits, purchasing, contracts, technology and other areas do important work tracking funds in voluminous databases that is essential to the recovery process, yet are rarely recognized for their exceptional efforts."

About GLO Community Development and Revitalization (CDR) 
In addition to short-term housing in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the CDR division of the Texas General Land Office administers the Housing and Urban Development CDBG-DR on behalf of the state of Texas. More than $9 billion have been allocated for recovery following Hurricanes Rita, Dolly, and Ike, the 2011 wildfires, the 2015 and 2016 floods and Hurricane Harvey. These grants can be used for a wide variety of activities including housing redevelopment, infrastructure repair and long-term planning. For more information, please visit TexasRebuilds.org.

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PREPS Program Surpasses 15,000 Texas Home Repairs, Helping Survivors Return Home

GLO PRESS RELEASE — May 15, 2018 

AUSTIN — Today Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced more than 15,000 homes have received repairs through the Partial Repair and Essential Power for Sheltering (PREPS) program in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This is the first time in Texas history that repairs have been offered as a part of the short-term recovery mission.

"Helping 15,000 Texas homeowners return to their homes after Harvey is a major milestone on our long road to recovery," said Governor Greg Abbott. "Our goal from the beginning, and to this day, remains to get families back into their homes as quickly as possible, and the State of Texas will continue to be relentless in our efforts until that goal is achieved. I thank our partners at FEMA and the Texas General Land Office for their work throughout this rebuilding process and for their commitment to ensuring a full recovery."

"This is the first time in disaster response in Texas that repairs are being offered to help homeowners return home," said Commissioner Bush. "PREPS has offered thousands of homeowners a chance to live at home while working on their full recovery. For more than 15,000 Texas families, this program has provided a jump start to the recovery process. While we continue to facilitate long-term recovery grant funding from the federal government for our local communities, the PREPS program is helping thousands of homeowners to bridge the gap. We are committed to helping Texan families get back home and won't stop working until the job is done."

The PREPS program provides basic repairs that allow homeowners to live in their homes and their communities as they make more permanent repairs to their homes. Up to $20,000 in repairs, including restoring electricity, air conditioning/heating, and hot water, debris removal, limited drywall and insulation, and restoring a functional bathroom and kitchen facilities, have been provided to return the homes to a standard of safe, sanitary and secure.

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PREPS Program Completes Repairs on More than 10,000 Homes

GLO PRESS RELEASE — Mar 22, 2018 

AUSTIN — Today Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced more than 10,000 homes have received repairs through the Partial Repair and Essential Power for Sheltering (PREPS) Program in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program is designed to help homeowners whose home received less than $17,000 in FEMA verified loss resulting from Hurricane Harvey. The program provides basic repairs that allow homeowners to live in their homes and their communities as they make more permanent repairs to their homes. Up to $20,000 in repairs, including restoring electricity, air conditioning/heating, and hot water, debris removal, limited drywall and insulation, and restoring a functional bathroom and kitchen facilities, have been provided to return the homes to a standard of safe, sanitary and secure.

"I am thankful 10,000 Texas families have been able to return home following Hurricane Harvey, but there is still much more work to be done," said Governor Abbott. "Texas will use every tool available such as the PREPS program to help all victims of the storm rebuild their homes and lives. I am grateful for the work of our partners at FEMA and the Texas General Land Office in reaching this milestone, and I look forward to continuing our work together throughout this rebuilding process."

"The size and scope of Hurricane Harvey was devastating not only for communities, but also for thousands of Texans unable to make repairs necessary to move back in their homes," said Commissioner Bush. "The PREPS program has now helped more than 10,000 families by providing basic repairs that help them on the road to full recovery. We're committed to helping Texan families get back home and won't stop working until the job is done."

About PREPS
The PREPS program is a pilot public assistance program that provides basic repairs to single-family owner-occupied homes that received less than $17,000 in FEMA verified loss resulting from Hurricane Harvey. The program provides up to $20,000 in basic repairs to enable homeowners to live in their homes while continuing repairs.

Examples of repairs provided through the PREPS program for eligible Texas homeowners rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey.

FEMA received nearly 900,000 applications for federal assistance. More than 371,000 individuals and families were eligible and received federal assistance such as grants, SBA loans, National Flood Insurance Program payments, and other forms of aid. FEMA performed initial inspections to determine eligibility for the PREPS program and the additional direct housing programs. FEMA provided more than 85,000 potentially eligible participants to GLO who, through coordinated outreach, determined each applicant's interest in participating in the program. To date, 18,582 Texas homeowners expressed interest in receiving PREPS repairs and have signed right of entry paperwork. Work is now complete on more than 10,000 homes with the remainder in the process of receiving repairs.

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