As Texas undergoes what could be the largest housing recovery effort in U.S. history after Harvey, potentially thousands of renters and homeowners in the state trying to rebuild their lives could be at risk for financial ruin.
That's thanks to disaster recovery efforts being split between a throng of government agencies, resulting in a lack of data on how many Texans could be forgotten — or how much personal fortune they stand to lose.
All eyes are now on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the agency that doles out long-term recovery funds. They’ve already allocated more than $5 billion to Texas for those efforts and are set to establish how much should go where next month. The state wants as few specifics on those parameters as possible, and housing advocates are worried that officials will be more likely to steer funds to public works projects instead of rebuilding homes.
DETAILS STILL SCARCE ON BORDER PATROL AGENT'S DEATH
Details remain scant on what killed U.S. Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez and left another agent seriously wounded on Sunday.
Despite speculation over what may have happened to the agents, the FBI — the agency now heading the investigation — told reporters in El Paso on Tuesday they're exploring Martinez's death as the result of an attack on federal officers while examining other options.
"There are a number of possible scenarios," said FBI special agent Emmerson Buie Jr. "However, in this instance we are going to pursue the one that is most challenging as it's presented to us, which is a potential assault."
The other agent is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital, per authorities Tuesday.
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BEST OF THE TRIB
• Ross Ramsey asks: Can Texas politicians police sexual harassment themselves?
• Did you miss our conversation on health care reform efforts in Texas? Watch Tuesday's full video or check out our recap here.
Join us in Houston on Nov. 30 for a conversation on health care after Hurricane Harvey with state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, Elena Marks, president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation, and executive director of Harris County Public Health Umair Shah.
THE LAST WORD
"This is a limited amount of money that is made available to the state, and then the state has to pick winners and losers."
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