EDINBURG — Several residents of Precinct 4 in Hidalgo County have begun to receive keys to newly renovated homes via a partnership with the Texas General Land Office Disaster Recovery Program and the county’s Urban County Office.

The current rehabilitation housing program is underway through the end of the year.

On Sept. 10, two Precinct 4 residents received keys to a renovated home by Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres who was accompanied by the local GLO representative Elijah Casas, Urban County and Precinct 4 staff members.

The commissioner presented each resident with a small house warming item and words of congratulations for new beginnings.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to extend the keys to a new home to our residents so that they may begin anew,” Torres said in a news release. “Partnerships with the GLO are critical to support the needs of our residents. I will continue to advocate for a more rapid process flow to access the federal dollars available to support such projects.”

This program is a result of the two 2015 Presidential Disaster Declarations, which affected Hidalgo County.

As a result of FEMA recognizing the disasters, the Federal Register allocated $6,740,560 to help the residents in the area.

In 2016, it was decided that Hidalgo County would receive $4,583,581 to be utilized for non-housing activities, such as drainage improvements, and the remaining $2,156,979 would be utilized for housing activities.

Consequently, the GLO, the lead state agency for managing the state’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds, entered into a contract with the Hidalgo County Urban County Program in July 2018 to respond to the housing issues in the affected areas.

Due to a limitation in funds, Precinct 4 was prioritized as the region in Hidalgo County with the most need and was provided with 13 subdivisions.

Precinct 4 residents will continue to move into these subdivisions through the end of 2021.

“Every day at the General Land Office we work to help improve the lives of Texans,” Land Commissioner George P. Bush said in the release. “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. The GLO continues to leverage federal dollars efficiently and effectively to help Texas families and communities rebuild and militate against future storms.”