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Hundreds of complaints filed against contractors post-Harvey

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HOUSTON (AP) - Homeowners have filed hundreds of complaints and lawsuits against contractors in Houston and other storm-damaged cities following Hurricane Harvey.
    
The Houston Chronicle reports that the complaints vary from shoddy work and long delays to allegations of fraud schemes.
    
The Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas says almost 200 complaints have been filed against contractors regarding Harvey repair work. The agency says it receives up to five new complaints each week.
    
The Texas Attorney General's Office says they've received about 180 complaints across the state since Harvey.
    
Texas law doesn't require contractors to be licensed or provide minimal bonds to ensure recovery if their work is subpar.
    
Greater Houston Builders Association CEO Casey Morgan recommends consumers check references, put agreements in writing and confirm the physical location of a business.
 

Previous Report on April 5, 2018

Houston has approved new building regulations that will dictate how high new homes and other structures must be elevated to avoid floodwaters.
    
The City Council approved the regulations Wednesday. The come in the way of Hurricane Harvey, which flooded thousands of homes in the nation's fourth-largest city.
    
Under the rule, new structures in the 100-year and 500-year flood plains would be constructed 2 feet (0.61 meters) above the ground or above the projected water level in a 500-year flood, an event in which 17 to 19 inches  (32 to 48 centimeters) of rain falls in 24 hours.
    
The proposal was opposed by many home builders, who said the rule would drive up home prices.
    
The city's current rule only applies to property in the 100-year flood plain.
    
Harris County, where Houston is located, approved similar new rules in December.

Previously Reported: 

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - Preliminary estimates indicate that a hurricane recovery program in southeast Texas could elevate as many as 200 homes that have been repeatedly flooded.
    
The Daily News reports that Galveston County commissioners received details about the plan Monday from Grantworks, consultants hired to facilitate disaster recovery planning.
    
Galveston County Judge Mark Henry says commissioners must next notify the Texas Department of Emergency Management about interest in funds to create the program.
    
The department plans to release $500 million in hazardous mitigation funds across Texas. Galveston County officials expect to receive a large portion of those funds to raise homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey, though efforts would focus on structures that have flooded multiple times.
    
Henry says the program would likely require homeowners to help cover part of the project's cost.
    

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A report indicates that more than 80 percent of homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey in Houston's floodplains would've been spared if they were at the higher elevation now being proposed by the mayor.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the figures come from a new Houston Public Works analysis of Harvey's wreckage as city leaders consider a rewrite of the ordinance governing Houston's floodplains. Public Works found that about half of the more than 31,800 damaged single-family homes in floodplains wouldn't have flooded during Harvey if built to the city's current elevation standard.

The report comes about two months after Mayor Sylvester Turner first outlined his proposal, which includes new elevation standards for future development in flood-prone areas. The City Council is expected to consider the new rules next week.

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