TXGLO HAP program starts first home rebuild in Vidor

Vidorian photo/George Garza

Ms. Karen Ballinger (center right with blonde hair and black leather jacket) and her new homebuilder, Steve Matero (center left with black ball cap) break ground for a new TXGLO HAP program home in front of her about to be demolished Harvey damaged home on West Davis loop. Joining Ms. Ballinger in breaking ground are her relatives and representatives of the TXGLO, City of Vidor and Orange County.

Vidorian photo/George Garza

Within moments of the TXGLO/Karen Ballinger’s new home groundbreaking, homebuilders with DSW Homes begin to demolish Ms. Ballinger’s flood damaged home to make room for a new two bedroom house to be build above base flood elevation.

There were smiles all around as a huge backhoe began tearing down a Harvey damaged home that has been vacant since the storm. More than five feet of floodwaters inundated Karen Ballinger’s house on West Davis Loop. She lost everything in the storm. She lived in Austin, TX for a while and then moved back home to Vidor where she found temporary housing near Smith Lake. Then, late last year, Karen heard about the Texas General Land Office (TXGLO) Homeowner Assistance Program that has allocated $1.334 billion in Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for rehabilitation and reconstruction of thousands of owneroccupied single-family homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Although the process took a while and the federal government required tons of paperwork and documentation, Ms. Ballinger was finally approved by the TXGLO for a home reconstruction. Yesterday morning, with a fanfare of applause from friends and onlookers, Karen Ballinger broke ground on a brand new house to be built hopefully within 20 days, weather permitting.



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