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.