Hurricane Harvey caused more than $125 billion in damages, with over 150,000 flooded homes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The only other storm to cause that much damage to a single U.S. city was Hurricane Katrina.
The problem for many Houstonians stuck in recovery purgatory isn't lack of available funds, however. It's the mountains of paperwork that keep them from accessing those funds.
Only a fraction of the billions of dollars set aside for 2017's major hurricanes has been tapped, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
That same report shows that Texas underspent — using about $18 million of $5 billion set aside for administration and planning purposes.
The money hasn't been spent because of red tape and bureaucratic sluggishness, according to the GAO.
Alice Torres says she's seen this stagnation firsthand while attending city council meetings. She watched as relief aid got tied up in political maneuvering. She says she's lost faith in the system. And she's definitely not the only one.