Houstonian moves in after GLO rebuilds Harvey-damaged home

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Lloyd Nelms' nieces and nephews cheered on as he got keys to his new home today in northeast Houston.

"It's been a long hard process, but now it's over with and I'm just glad I'm at the finish road," Nelms said.

Just two and a half weeks ago, the Texas General Land Office was at Nelms' Harvey-damaged house, demolishing it as part of a new recovery program for Houstonians.

Nelms said he originally applied for help through the City of Houston's storm recovery program two years ago, but never received help.

13 Investigates: GLO to control Harvey recovery after Houston 'hindered' aid

With just a few months until the third anniversary of the storm, the city has only helped 96 people so far.

The GLO's program, which serves 48 other counties across the state, has built more than 1,300 homes in the same time. The state previously let Houston operate its own storm recovery program, but recently forced a takeover of parts of the city's program following months of disappointment with the city's progress.

"This has been something that we have been working with the City of Houston on for some time. The program has just not seen the progress that needs to happen in order to be able to serve folks in a timely manner," said Brittany Eck, a spokesperson with the Texas General Land Office.

The city does plan to fight back, though. Two weeks ago, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council approved spending up to keep control of the city's Harvey housing rehabilitation and rebuilding program. Turner said earlier this month that it is a necessary expense to "protect Houston homeowners," and protect the contractual relationship between the city, the GLO and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Information on applying for the Texas General Land Office's Homeowner Assistance Program in Houston

But, as Nelms moves into his new home this weekend, he's encouraging others not to give up hope.

"I didn't think it was going to take this long for me to recover. It's been a long road," he said. "(The GLO process was) fast, quick, smooth, efficient, productive, competent and I'm happy."
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