|HUD Reg VI: 18-20
HUD: Patricia Campbell, (817) 978-5974/(817) 681-9741
Aransas County: Mike Koerner, (858) 245-4307
December 7, 2017
FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS PARTNER TO REBUILD TEXAS
HUD-coordinated team of Federal, State and local disaster experts to provide individualized assistance to communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey
FORT WORTH - A newly formed partnership between federal, state and local representatives will convene its first work group initiative in Rockport with Aransas County officials on December 7, 2017. The day-long event will include comprehensive discussions of the County's disaster recovery priorities with officials from various agencies including HUD, FEMA and the Texas General Land Office to create a long-term strategy to rebuild coastal communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
Members of the Recovery Team include Beth Van Duyne, HUD SW Regional Administrator; Kevin Hannes, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer; Pete Phillips, Deputy Director for Community Development and Revitalization at the General Land Office; and Stan Gimont, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grants Programs in the Office of Community Planning and Development.
Local officials expected to attend are State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, Aransas County Judge Burt Mills, Fulton Mayor Jimmy Kendrick, Rockport Mayor C.J. Wax and Aransas County Long Term Recovery Director Mike Koerner.
HUD SW Regional Administrator Beth Van Duyne who coordinated the partnership said, "After a disaster, prioritizing next steps, determining relevant state and federal resources and navigating all the related rules and regulations can be daunting for community leaders. The goal of this Recovery Team is to proactively reach out to areas affected by Harvey and offer them an organized and experienced team to cut through the red tape. By listening to their specific challenges, goals and needs, long term recovery plans can be tailored to most effectively rebuild their communities. Working together, we will rebuild Texas."
Aransas County Judge Burt Mills said, "Aransas County is pleased to host this critical meeting with our federal & state recovery partners. Our purpose is to provide real world feedback for several key challenges facing our long-term recovery efforts including housing, economic development, and health and wellness. We believe in the power of partnerships and look forward to the progress we will make in long term recovery."
"From the start, state, county and local officials - and the survivors themselves - responded to Hurricane Harvey with strength, determination, and imagination," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin Hannes. "Here in Texas, communities are envisioning their futures and setting their own paces to recover and rebuild stronger and safer. It's an honor to be working with our Coastal Bend partners in this endeavor."
The Strike Team will visit other Texas communities and cities affected by Harvey in the future, and HUD hopes to replicate the Strike Team model in future disasters.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.
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