In the wake of the devastating Winter Storms of 2021, which led to approximately $400 million in infrastructure damage, an economic loss of $295 billion, and the tragic loss of 246 lives, Texas has initiated a comprehensive recovery and resilience plan. The state’s efforts have been significantly bolstered by a series of substantial federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A recent announcement confirmed an additional $43.6 million from HUD, earmarked specifically for the 2021 Winter Storms Public Action Plan. This funding complements earlier grants totaling $117.4 million allocated to Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth, the cities most severely impacted by the storms.
The Texas General Land Office (GLO) has been at the forefront of developing the Public Action Plan, strategically dividing the $43.6 million into two targeted programs: the 2021 Winter Storms HUD Most Impacted and Distressed (MID) Counties Program and the 2021 Winter Storms Fire Facilities and Protective Measures (FFPM) Program.
Under the MID Counties Program, $30.4 million is allocated towards rebuilding affordable multifamily housing and substantial infrastructure improvements in Dallas, Harris and Tarrant Counties. These counties, which experienced over $4.2 billion in paid insurance losses – accounting for more than half of Texas’ total insurance payouts – will each receive $10.1 million, with an additional $1.9 million earmarked for mitigation.
The FFPM Program, funded with the remaining 20% of the HUD award, focuses on enhancing fire protection facilities and equipment in secondary counties. It aims to provide additional power generators and upgrade first responder vehicles, ensuring readiness for future extreme winter conditions. The program’s funding will vary per county, based on a set of criteria emphasizing need, with a promise from the GLO that at least 70% of the funds will benefit low- to moderate-income homes.