Travis Nilsen

Travis Nilsen stands in his newly rebuilt GLO home. Nilson’s home is the 4,000th home rebuilt through the program. (DD Turner/Wave photo)

Travis Nilsen was excited to receive the key to his home, newly rebuilt through the Texas General Land Office’s Homeowners Assistance Program.

The home was severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey and was the 4,000th home rebuilt through the process.

Nilsen said he had been without his home for about three months as the original was damaged badly enough that he felt the need to apply for assistance.

“I was fortunate to get approved, and now I’ve got this wonderful house,” he said.

The house – two bedrooms and two baths – was bigger than what he expected.

“When I walked through, it was bigger than I expected, and I’m real excited,” he said. “I’ve never had a master bath before…it’s the little things.”

Nilsen was ready to move in after the ceremony on Nov. 23, in which he was handed the key to the home.

On hand were members of J.W. Turner of Victoria that constructed the home, representatives from Sen. Lois Kolkhorst’s office, Calhoun County Judge Richard Meyer, Port Lavaca City Councilman Jim Ward, and interim City Manager Jody Weaver, along with land office officials.

The Texas General Land Office has completely rebuilt 4,000 homes for Texas families through the Homeowner Assistance Program, marking a milestone in the single largest disaster housing program in the state’s history using available Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) and Community Development Block Grants for Mitigation (CDBG-MIT), and funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a land office press release.

Approximately 875 additional homes are currently under construction, noted the release.

“Every day, the GLO’s disaster recovery team works to help Texas families rebuild their homes and their lives from repetitive flooding and destructive storms,” said Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said in a statement. “Today, we celebrate a significant achievement in helping more than 4,000 coastal Texas families return to safe, comfortable homes. The GLO is proud to be setting a record pace in disaster recovery while helping thousands of Texas families rebuild their lives and their homes.”