Houston leaders start providing grants for Harvey recovery

HOUSTON (AP) — The Harvey relief fund established by Houston’s top elected leaders has issued its first grants, giving out $7.5 million to 28 organizations with an emphasis on getting people still displaced by the storm into temporary housing.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and other leaders of the fund announced the grants Tuesday. They amount to less than 10 percent of the nearly $80 million raised so far by the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. More grants are expected to go out next month.

The groups receiving money are expected to spend it within 90 days and report back to the relief fund’s board on how they used the money. Nearly half of the organizations say their purpose for the money is to provide temporary housing or home repair.

Several groups also have committed to using the money for case management, linking people in need of help with the right aid groups to serve them.

At least $500 million has been raised by national and local groups serving the Texas Gulf Coast after the August storm, which killed at least 80 people, destroyed 200,000 homes and inundated much of Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city. Piles of rotting debris still sit outside many homes in Houston, and thousands of people remain in hotels or temporary housing after losing their homes.