Renters are still waiting for Hurricane Harvey relief

CityLab Daily

Unfair advantage: The "Golden Triangle" cities of Port Arthur, Beaumont and Orange in Texas may have been spared the worst of Hurricane Laura last week, but with the 2020 hurricane season less than half over, residents there remain in a precarious situation as they struggle to recover from the last major storm. 

A lawsuit filed in late 2019 against Texas and federal officials alleges that the state plan for distributing $5.6 billion in recovery aid following Hurricane Harvey in 2017 short-changed the region's Black renters and handed outsize payouts to White homeowners. Local housing advocates tell Kriston Capps that by allocating funds based on inundation level and geography — with no concern for need or population — officials gave White, sparsely populated towns virtually as much aid as denser cities with low-income renters. That means that while tenants in majority-minority cities like Port Arthur received no more than $84 each, wealthier residents in nearby towns each got tens of thousands of dollars. "Every time these things happen, we get the short end of the stick," said John Beard, a former Port Arthur city council member. Today on CityLab: Texas Renters Are Still Waiting for Recovery Relief From Hurricane Harvey

-Linda Poon

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