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Construction begins on first Homeowner Assistance Program homes

Posted: 10:31 PM, Jan 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-09 23:31:56-05

Juan and Juanita Rodriguez have been forced to move the trailer, that they’ve been living in since Hurricane Harvey hit, off the property where their home once stood until the devastating storm destroyed it.

But the couple is not upset, because It’s the first step in rebuilding their home. And it’s all thanks to the Homeowner Assistance Program, or HAP.

“It will be our dream home,” Juanita Rodriguez said.

The couple vacationed every year in Rockport, and decided to move there from Lubbock after retiring six years ago. But then came Harvey in August 2017.

“Our house was so badly damaged that it was beyond repair,” Juanita Rodriguez said. “It had to be completely demolished.”

The Rodriguezes applied for aid at a number of organizations, but it wasn’t until last month and an application to HAP through the Texas General Land Office that the couple got the money they needed to be able to afford to rebuild.

“When they finish, then we move into our house,” Juanita Rodriguez said.

The Rodriguezes’ is one of the first two HAP houses that are under construction right now. The other one is in Victoria. Many more will be built in the coming months and years with a total of $1.098 billion in funding available from HUD, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“For those people that have lost everything, it’s hope,” Deanna Spruce of Aransas County Long Term Recovery said. “It’s rebuilding their future and their life together.”

You can apply for the Homeowner Assistance Program at HAP’s regional offices in Rockport and Corpus Christi. You can also apply online at http://recovery.texas.gov/hap