Texas Grow Home Updates: June 2011


The Texas Low Income Housing Information Service and the Austin Community Design and Development Center (ACDDC) have made significant advancements toward their goal of constructing 45-60 green, affordable Grow Homes in Cameron, Galveston and Harris counties.

These steps include working with the National Disaster Housing Reconstruction Advisory Committee to develop a “disaster housing recovery plan.” This plan abides by our original “temp to perm” concept, wherein a emergency housing unit can be modified to result in a permanent residence.

We have met with developers from the above-mentioned counties to present our proposed process for the housing pilot program and introduce them to key players and discuss the development process. This process is being facilitated in the style of a tax credit application from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA).

This summer, the Grown Home Team hopes to release a request for proposal (RFP) to begin the architectural selection process for home designs in Cameron County. The team is anticipating the responses to that request from architects in the area. Planning is also underway for a larger scale meeting with service providers, construction and community partners to plan a detailed approach for taking on the Houston/Galveston area.

Also, the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville has selected two architectural firms, both of whom are well-known for the quality and design of the communities they have planned.


Disaster Housing Assistance Program – Ike (DHAP-Ike)


This is a summary of the Disaster Housing Assistance Program – Ike (DHAP- Ike). This is the second in a series of summaries intended to briefly describe a number of existing programs used to provide temporary and permanent housing to victims after a disaster. This is part of an effort to promote a new disaster housing reconstruction program that responds to the success and shortcomings of others.

Texas Grow Home calls upon the State of Texas to develop a disaster housing reconstruction program that uses federal disaster recovery dollars more efficiently and effectively. Although the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) does not provide funds for reconstruction of destroyed homes, it provides an excellent programmatic model to follow. DHAP is a program that funnels federal disaster recovery dollars for rental assistance into communities through local entities (Public Housing Authorities). DHAP is a community-based version FEMA’s Individual and Households Program (IHP), which among other things, provides rental assistance. DHAP is designed to supplement IHP rental assistance and has proven to be much more community friendly. What if FEMA could funnel some of its IHP reconstruction dollars through local entities?

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Individual and Households Program (IHP)


This a summary of the Individuals and Households Program (IHP), which is the first in a series of short summaries of current disaster housing programs. This series is intended to briefly describe a number of existing models used to provide temporary and permanent housing to victims after a natural disaster.

As directed by the Stafford Act, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has the authority to provide various forms of temporary housing assistance, typically for a period no longer than 18 months. When the President declares a disaster and authorizes Individual Assistance (IA), FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) can help homeowners and renters affected by the disaster with temporary housing needs and expenses.

IHP provides money and services to people in the disaster area when losses are not covered by insurance and property has been damaged or destroyed. IHP will not cover all of your losses and is not intended to restore your damaged property to its condition before the disaster. To be considered for IHP housing assistance, the affected home must be the individual’s primary residence and it must be located in the disaster area designated for Individual Assistance. When a disaster is declared and Individual Assistance is authorized, affected individuals are directed to register with FEMA for assistance. Registration can be accomplished at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), by telephone, or by internet.

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Texas Grow Home Design Concept


The Texas Grow Home is an evolution of the FEMA trailer. As such it is a temporary emergency living unit that is eventually transformed into a more traditional home.  The emergency living unit provides everything that a FEMA trailer would provide – a sleeping area, bathroom, kitchen area and dining area. Once the family and the community is able to begin rebuilding, this emergency living unit would be placed on a permanent foundation and transformed into the ‘core’ of a more traditional home.

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First Meeting of the Disaster Housing Committee


The ‘Natural Disaster Housing Reconstruction Advisory Committee’ has been officially appointed and held its first meeting on Monday, April 26th at the Capitol. This advisory committee is taksed with (1) evaluating current disaster rehousing programs and policies (2) developing more efficient and effective alternatives and (3) demonstrating those alternatives in a statewide demonstration program. Although this description is grossly oversimplified, one can see that this committee is faced with a daunting task. The Texas Grow Home Project will be offering the lessons it has learned as an aide to the work of this committee. Below is a list of the committee members

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Preliminary Recommendations for a Statewide Disaster Housing Reconstruction Program


Texas Low Income Housing Information Service continues to act as the research and advocacy arm of the Texas Grow Home Project. As such , TxLIHIS is developing a list of recommendations for the design, production, case management, and program administration of a statewide program that helps low-income homeowners rebuild after a disaster. These recommendations have been informed by the Texas Grow Home Design Competition, Prototype Construction Pilot Project, and Conversation Series. Architects, planners, developers, builders, modular manufacturers, disaster recovery organizations, CDCs, affordable housing advocates, state agencies, local government officials, and homeowners have provided the feedback necessary to make these recommendations. These recommendations are intended to inform the work of the state appointed Disaster Housing Committee, which is tasked with developing alternatives to current housing reconstruction programs. Below is a preliminary list of our recommendations, we invite your comments, questions, and critiques.

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Case Management Conversation 3/18


A meeting to discuss strategies to provide long term disaster case management for Texas Grow Home consumers.
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