New HAP home

Donnie and Linda Mikulenka, at right, talk with GrantWorks Associate Vice President Donna Johnson, left, and Texas GLO Director of Communications Brittany Eck before receiving the keys to their new home.

After a long, stressful two years, Donnie and Linda Mikulenka were awarded a brand new home at no cost by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) Homeowner Assistance Program Wednesday, Aug. 7.

The Mikulenka’s home appeared to look fine for the most part following Hurricane Harvey. However, the foundation of the home looked off to Donnie, and they realized that the home was in need of more repairs than they anticipated.

“We had been living in a home that was full of mold,” said Linda.

Linda also said she was having health complications from the mold that existed in their damaged home after having a tooth pulled.

They later realized that the foundation of their home was not stable, and it was getting worse as time went on.

“Eventually, we had holes (form) in our floor. We could actually step through the floor,” said Donnie.

The foundation of the home continued to give way and crumble underneath. It was later decided that the house would have to be completely demolished and rebuilt.

For a long time, the family was in a constant bout with insurance companies. None of them wanted to take liability for the damage and pay out what the family needed to rebuild their home.

“Flood said it was TWIA’s fault, TWIA said it was flood’s fault, and it was all a mess,” said Donnie.

The family was introduced to the Texas GLO Homeowner Assistance Program through a friend in late 2018. Not long after, the program approved the family and agreed to rebuild their new home.

“I’m really excited,” said Donnie. “I’m really excited for my wife.”

The two year delay in getting anything done with their house had been very stressful and weighed heavily on the family.

“My husband and I have been married almost 17 years and we almost went through a divorce,” said Linda. “We thought we were protected. But we found out that even with three different types of insurances, we couldn’t get our home back in order.”

“We were living in our own personal story of devastation.”

The family was ecstatic to finally be back home and under one roof together again.

“I finally feel like we’re surviving Harvey,” said Linda.

Individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey may qualify for assistance through the Texas Homeowner Assistance Program if they owned their home, it was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey and it was their primary residence at the time of the storm, among other eligibility factors. The program offers qualified homeowners assistance to repair, rehabilitate or rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Applications will be considered for award on a first come, first served basis, according to the priorities outlined in the Regional Housing Guidelines.

For more information, visit recovery.texas.gov/hap.

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