Port Lavaca resident struggles to get home repaired after Hurricane Harvey

Linda Graham says she isn't satisfied with what that the Texas General Land Office offered her

VICTORIA, Texas – Linda Graham has lived in her Port Lavaca home for years so after it sustained substantial damage from Hurricane Harvey she wanted to do whatever she could to avoid having to demolish it.

Graham says that her insurance wasn’t going to appropriately reimburse her for the damage and felt like she was being taken advantage of. So she turned to the Texas General Land Office’s (GLO) assistance program. The program is meant to help repair or reconstruct homes impacted by Hurricane Harvey, but Graham claims that GLO wasn’t much help either.

Graham says that GLO offered to tear down her home and rebuild it but that it would have been smaller than it is now and she was worried it would have been built improperly.

“Houses are built cheap, and they’re not gonna last, the foundations are faulty, they sweat. This is Texas, this is gumbo soil, everybody’s home has to be different. Everyone’s home has to be individualized,” says Graham. Graham has now hired an independent contractor to repair her home.

Brittany Eck is the Director of Communications with the GLO and says that Graham has been approved for construction but has refused to move forward because of what the program is able to offer under federal law and requirements. Eck also says that Graham has never before expressed any concerns about the quality of the work to the GLO.  Eck also refuted Graham’s claims about the GLO home’s quality. “These homes are built to meet all federal, state, and local building codes with exceptional energy efficiency and resilience against future storms,” says Eck.

Raymond Lozano had his house rebuilt through the GLO program and he says he’s satisfied with their work. “Me and my wife, we enjoy it, had no problems. They (GLO) give you a whole year to report any issues too, it’s been nothing major and they’ve come to fix it, they were pretty quick about it. They even called me the other day to check in on everything,” says Lozano.

You can check out GLO’s website on their assistance program here.