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The Westbury Civic Club June meeting had a full house as residents impacted by the Memorial day floods were in attendance to hear special guest speakers. District K and the Mayor's office arranged speakers who could really answer questions. It was a pretty impressive showing of guests from our council office, the Dept of Neighborhoods, Solid Waste, Public Works, FEMA, SBA Loan Admin, and the National Flood Insurance Program.
City of Houston Solid Waste:
- Trash pickup to continue on regular schedule
- Currently working with private 3rd party contractors to ensure continuous service
- Urged residents to continue to call 311 for specific home pickup service problems
- Solid Waste will make three passes through the City picking up storm debris; they are still on the first pass 23 days after the storm which tells the tale of how much debris there is
FEMA and the SBA
- If you were flooded, you should apply to FEMA for assistance even if you had insurance
- Various methods to apply/register for assistance:
o July 28th (60 days after the declaration of disaster) is the deadline to register
o Must apply for FEMA assistance in order to apply for SBA loan
o SBA Loan has low interest loans available to homeowners up to 200,000
o Renters and those whose vehicles were damaged by the flood can apply for assistance as well as those needing mental health referrals
o Up to 18 months of rental assistance
o 7-10 day turnaround for physical check. 12-24 hour turnaround for bank ACH.
o Businesses also qualify for assistance for some cases
o Maximum grant money to people who flooded is 32,900
City of Houston Public Works:
- Flood Plain Office – 832-394-8854
- special hours open at the floodplain office - see attached PDF
- If you are in the flood plain you have to go to this office to get the flood plain permit; cost under $150.00. If you only have residential repairs that do not require a trade permit such as electrical or plumbing you DO NOT need any additional permits.
It is my belief that the city really wants to work with everyone impacted by this flood. I know from my own personal experience with 2 floods and a fire how overwhelming being displaced feels and then the added stress of rebuilding and dealing with contractors. So please take advantage of the help being offered; you are not alone.
The WCC office and board will continue to monitor the progress and we are here to help you on the road to recovery. The next step is to mitigate flooding in the future.
To the owners of homes that flooded in Westbury,
Water damage is damage and being displaced from your home is being displaced, however, Westbury flooding was a bit different than the flooding along Brays Bayou. With the exception of a few homes the water in Westbury homes was from 1 inch to 6 inches and very few actually had water reach the electrical plugs. Despite that fact, the City of Houston sent out “substantial damage” to many Westbury homeowners that are, according to my sources, sent when the water reaches 18 inches and therefore involves your electrical systems. This has created more panic and uncertainty. This letter was sent out on a blanket basis. The City of Houston, capriciously and arbitrarily, decided to send this to Westbury addresses when in fact very few if any homes were substantially damaged.
We also have 3 categories of flooded homes along the Willow Waterhole Bayou from Braewick to Chimney Rock.
1.) Homes that have flooded multiple times in the past 5 years.
2.) Homes that flooded for the first time
3.) Homes that flooded for the first time since 1975
I am not an engineer. I am an observer. In June of 1975 many homes in this affected area flooded and substantial improvements were made on the Willow Waterhole Bayou and the majority of the homes that flooded in 1975 have not flooded again until now.
There has been some flooding in 2011 and April of 2013 and that is why we began lobbying for new storm drains and for our drainage ditches to be dredged. HCFCD is currently working on our ditches and the City has some of Westbury slated for a storm drainage project in the 2020 CIP plan. Hopefully both of these projects will mitigate the flooding that is occurring in Westbury in the 100 year flood plain.
Much misinformation is floating around. We have asked and expect someone from the Flood Management Office to attend our Westbury Civic Club meeting this Wednesday at 7PM.
Two things come into play. The value of the improvement on your land (your house) and the cost of repair to bring your home back to its pre damaged state.
1. Look at the 2015 value of your improvement on HCAD. Your cost of repair must be less than 50% of that number. We all know the HCAD valuations are bogus. When you get your NFIP Proof of loss the value of your home according to FEMA will also be listed. If those e numbers still are too low, an independent real estate appraiser can help you there.
2. The cost to repair your house. You can use the NFIP proof of loss. Or you can bring a notarized and signed estimate from your contractor and then the city will send an inspector to see if they agree with that number.
Once both of these numbers confirm that you below the 50% threshold you will be issued a permit that says you are good to go. Cost of the permits is under $500.00. Since most Westbury homes just need flooring, a few feet of sheet rock, maybe some cabinets and some paint you should be well within the 50% rule.
Attached is a document issued June 1, 2015 by the City to help navigate the repair process. Don't be misled or taken advantage of by unscrupulous speculators trying to cash in on your misfortune. Check with the BBB before agreeing to hire a contractor. Check with a reputable realtor (there are plenty of area specialists that advertise in the Westbury Crier each month) before agreeing to sell your house to someone coming to your front door.
The information provided below contains legal resources available to Houstonians that were affected by the recent flooding and severe weather. Please share it accordingly when receiving any such calls.
Sincerely,Shalette Mitchell,Chief of Staff,The Honorable Borris L. Miles
Houston Bar Association's LegalLine Program
What: Volunteer attorneys from the Houston Bar Association will answer questions over the phone and provide legal advice for those in the Houston area affected by the recent floods and severe weather. Houstonians are encouraged to call 713-759-1133 to speak to an attorney knowledgeable in insurance matters, property, landlord/tenant law, contracts, disaster assistance and other consumer issues.
Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM-9:00 PM
State Bar of Texas Legal Hotline
General Material & Information
Meeting tonight, Weds, June 3, and more information in this long post below.
City and FEMA Ask All Residents Affected by the Flood to Register for Assistance
Mayor Parker and representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and various City departments will be on hand to provide flood recovery information and answer questions about everything from filing a flood claim to debris collection and permitting.
Fondren Middle School
In the coming days, with help from the City of Houston and the Texas Division of Emergency Management, FEMA will be announcing the location of a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), which will be a one-stop shop for affected residents to connect with FEMA staff, as well as City and Non-Governmental agencies. In addition, mobile recovery centers will be established to help ensure that all affected Houstonians have equal access to the assistance they need.
What you can do now?
1) Contact your insurance company
•If you haven't already done so, contact your insurance company (renters, homeowners and flood) and let them know about your level of damage. They may need to send an adjuster to document your damage.
•visiting on www.disasterassistance.gov
When registering for assistance, you can expect to provide the following:
•Social Security number
3)Document your damage
•Make sure you have photos, and or video, of the damage your home or business sustained so that FEMA representatives will be able to provide you with the best financial assistance possible.
FEMA assistance is only available to U.S. Citizens or lawful residents of the United States. Individuals who are undocumented may make a claim on behalf of their child if that child is a U.S. Citizen or lawful resident.
If nobody in the family qualifies, residents are asked to call 2-1-1 to find out information about non-profit agencies who may be able to provide assistance.
What Can I Expect In the Coming Days?
In the coming days, FEMA will be announcing the location of the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) as well as the dates, times and locations of town hall meetings to discuss any issues people may have with the FEMA recovery process.
Where can I get information?
Houston residents can visit houstontx.gov/recovery for information and resources that will help them begin the process of recovery. This website will have information from government as well as trusted non-profit partners.
Residents can also register for CitizensNet at houstontx.gov/citizensnet to receive information about disaster assistance available in their neighborhoods.
Keeping Yourself Safe
FEMA, State or City officials will never ask you for your social security number or bank account information in person or by phone (unless you have called FEMA to register for assistance). Never give out personal information to anyone who claims to represent the City, State or FEMA in person, over email, or over the phone.
Also, all FEMA and City disaster services are provided free of charge, so you should never be asked to pay anything to complete applications or receive assistance from the government.
Need Help? Want to Help?
If you NEED assistance or want to HELP those affected by the May flooding event, try using this online site - which is being used by some local religious and charitable organizations and coalitions of people who want to help (including Westbury Methodist, Westbury Baptist, Jewish Disaster Response- NECHAMA, etc)
RELIEF INFORMATION FROM FEMA AT ERJCC:
The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management is asking any residents who experienced flooding inside their home or business to report it to the Houston 311 Help & Information Line.
The City of Houston and regional response agencies are currently trying to assess the level of structural damage sustained as a result of flooding.FEMA has declared disaster area for Harris County
Individuals who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local time) seven days a week. You will need:
· Social Security number
· Current and pre-disaster address
· Telephone number where you can be contacted
· Insurance information
· Total household annual income
· Routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account).
· Description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.
The link below provides a helpful spreadsheet for documenting contents losses:
Dealing with a flooded home can be overwhelming, some companies are offering free services for Houston area victims
The Spring White Elephant Sale will be on Saturday, May 9, from 8AM to Noon at Westbury United Methodist Church. The rain date is May 16.
will go on sale at 8AM on Wednesday, April 1, for individual
You must be a paid
current member of the Westbury Civic Club to purchase a booth. This means you must have paid your 2015 WCC
membership dues of $40. If you have not
paid your 2015 dues, you may do so at the same time that you purchase your
booth space. The booth price for
Booths will go on sale to non-residents and groups/non-profit organizations on April 27 if space permits on a first come, first serve basis. The booth price for non-residents and groups is $60-65.
White Elephant Sale allows residents the opportunity to sell unwanted household
items at a highly visible central location with security provided. The WCC provides location, security,
bathrooms and publicity for the sale.
The Civic Club does NOT provide tables, chairs or shade.
So why not have fun, make money, be safe and be a good neighbor. Plan on having a booth at the Westbury White Elephant Sale!
*Due to limited space and increased interest by homeowners, only individual homeowners may purchase booth space in September. Non-residents and ALL non-profit organizations and groups (including Westbury resident run) must wait until April 27. Violators of this policy may not be allowed to participate in the current and/or future White Elephant Sales. All non-profit organizations and groups must register under their organization name. No individual may purchase a booth for a group or organization unless doing so under that organization’s name.
Wednesday, February 11 at 630PM at the Platou Community Center, 11655 Chimney Rock, District K and Public Works will be holding a public meeting to answer any questions residents have about the ongoing Wastewater(Sewer) line replacement project. Lines are being replaced as per the attached map in parts of Westbury 4, Westbury South and Westbury 3 (Cartagena).
District K likes to host these ... View more meetings when there is work so that residents will know the scope of the project, the completion date, backyard access, etc. If you live on the affected streets you are encouraged to attend.
Last CIP meeting we made a plea about our issues with sewage problems and all of Westbury's wastewater lines were scheduled to be evaluated. It is good to see this work being done.
Homeowners should have notified either by mail or door hangers.
WHS has a great administration, wonderful teachers, a vigorous academic plan with AP courses required, and an incredible student body. Let’s give them the campus they deserve and that we voted for in 2012. There are ways you can support the school today.
Here is what the principal has to say: “Westbury is an AWSOME place. The students are awesome and so are the parents. We are making progress every single day. We had our first back to school bash, winter festival, cross country event that was out of this world, a big event for middle school track coming in February, and our fine art programs that continue to flourish every time they step onto the stage. Auto-tech and debate are considered to be among the best in the district and respected around the State of Texas. Our scholars just need a chance to shine, have pride in themselves, and understand they are important to us.”
The February Crier devotes 5 pages to WHS. See how you can join the effort to support WHS. https://docs.google.com/a/westburycrier.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=d2VzdGJ1cnljcmllci5jb218Y2l2aWNjbHVifGd4OjEzN2QxMWRkYTllYzM2NGI
Immediate need for VIPS (see page 8). It’s easy, sign up online and then go to the school with your TDL to finish registering.