Take the keys!

Eloy Deleon holds up the key to his new home next to his daughter Roxanne Deleon, center, and Texas General Land Office Representatives.

Eloy and Roxanne DeLeon have been commuting back and forth to Rockport from Robstown for two years following Hurricane Harvey. Now, with help from the Texas General Land Office (GLO) Homeowner Assistance Program, the DeLeon’s are back and living in a brand new home. They received the keys to the new home Monday, Aug. 26 in a special ceremony.

Prior to Harvey, the DeLeon’s lived in a trailer home on their property. After Harvey hit Aransas County, the family returned from evacuation and found their home had been substantially damaged.

E. DeLeon found help through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They mutually believed the home could be repaired. But over time, Eloy realized it was deteriorating faster than expected because of the moisture that had been inside the home.

Soon, the Aransas County Environmental Health Department contacted Eloy and told him the home was not safe to live in.

With no other options left, Eloy continued to look for help.

With help from his Disaster Case Manager, Holly Sanchez, Eloy got into contact with the Texas GLO.

“She was very instrumental in making things happen all the steps of the way,” said E. DeLeon.

From November 2018, Eloy remained in contact with the Texas GLO and went through the necessary steps for assistance.

“The biggest hurdle was getting all the paperwork together,” said Eloy.

Within five months, Eloy’s family had been approved to receive a brand new home.

Construction began in late May 2019.

Throughout this time, the DeLeon’s had been commuting from Robstown. They stayed in a parsonage provided by his church.

“The people in Robstown have been very generous, very kind,” said Eloy. “They’ve been a blessing.”

On the day of the ceremony, Eloy said the feeling of getting the keys to his new home was breathtaking.

“Even though we lost everything, I feel we were blessed by recuperating much more than we lost,” said Eloy. “I cannot emphasize how much I appreciate what everyone has done.”

Roxanne, Eloy’s daughter, saw the inside of the home for the first time on the day of the ceremony.

“It is overwhelming, it’s beautiful,” Roxanne said. “They’ve done an outstanding job. It’s a lot larger than what I thought it was going to be.”

Individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey may qualify for assistance through the Texas Homeowner Assistance Program if they owned their home, if 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 serve basis, according to the priorities outlined in the Regional Housing Guidelines.

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

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