Meyerland Community Improvement Association
4999 W. Bellfort
Houston, TX  77035
  Phone  713-729-2167

  • 1

                                 

Community Information and Resource Workshops

Tuesday, July 7
FREE Panel Presentation with Q&A

Session 1 at 5:00 - 6:30pm
Session 2 at 7:00 - 8:30pm

The ERJCC, located at 5601 S. Braeswood, will be providing an informational night for homeowners whose homes were damaged in the flood.  Professionals with experience in remodeling flood damaged homes will be available as well as representatives from:

City of Houston Flood Plain Permit/Information Office
SBA
FEMA
Insurance and financial experts
Contractors that specialize in restoration and raising a home to meed flood plain guidelines.

The goal is to provide homeowners with information to assist in making informed decisions regarding renovations and critical next steps.  The workshop will be offered twice:

Session 1 at 5:00 - 6:30pm
Session 2 at 7:00 - 8:30pm

New location for FEMA and SBA

The FEMA and SBA organizations have moved to another facility. The new location is at the Bayland Community Center found at 6400 Bissonet Street. They will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday from  9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. At that location, both organizations will be able to answer your questions about your account or assist you with reporting and managing your loss.

Choose a Reputable Contractor

FROM THE GREATER HOUSTON BUILDERS ASSOCIATION....

With the recent flooding in the Houston area, there are scam artists posing as legitimate contractors who want to cheat you out of your money.

These "fly-by-night" operators often show up in communities impacted by natural disasters to try to scam distressed home owners into paying for shoddy repairs or work that they will never show up to perform.

Here are some warning signs to look out for:

Doesn't have license and/or insurance

All professional contractors should be insured and able to show their certificate proving such insurance. Although all states do not require licensing, contractors in states requiring licenses should have it and be able to provide a copy.

Asks you to sign anything before you've hired them.

If they want you to sign an "estimate" or "authorization" before you've made the decision to hire the contractor, look out. They may be trying to get you to sign what is an actual binding contract.

Doesn't write contracts

Professionals have clear contracts that outline the job, process, the cost, and helps clarify how problems will be managed. If you don't have a contract, you are not protected when something goes wrong. Don't hire anyone who tells you a contract "won't be necessary."

Requires cash or payment in full before starting the job

Shady contractors demand cash and then run with the money. Many home owners have been stranded by paying in full up front. A deposit towards materials is common, but only pay it once you have a contract signed by both you and the contractor.

It's also suspect if you're asked to pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check or money order to a company.

Vastly underbids all other contractors

They may have the best price, but that doesn't guarantee the best work. Such contractors may cut costs on quality, which can end up costing you more when you have to have the substandard work redone.

Offers "special" pricing

If you're told you've been "chosen" as a demonstration project at a special, low price, or you're told a low price is good only if you sign a contract today.

Cannot provide customer references

Professional contractors should have current references they can provide from current and past clients - and you should be able to reach those references, not just an answering machine.

Difficulty contacting the contractor

Professionals have a physical office, mailing address, phone and email. They should respond to your queries in a timely manner. Make sure you can verify the contractor's business address. If they only have a PO Box, be wary.

Tells you to obtain the building or remodeling permits

Professional contractors go to the county or state offices and get permits for their work themselves. Asking the home owner to do it is a sign that they are not a legitimate contractor.

Your best bet is to take your time, do your research and choose someone you feel completely comfortable with. Make sure they don't have a record of consumer complaints lodged with your local Better Business Bureau. You can also contact the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) for a list of reputable contractors in your area.

This article was provided by a member of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association. The Remodelers Council is dedicated to promoting professionalism and public awareness of the remodeling profession through education, certification and service to the Houston community. 

Explanation of Permit Requirements

Homeowners

We want to clarify the “50% rule” and the “Substantial Damage” letter that some of you have received from the Mayor. The City is preparing an information sheet to be placed on all residents’ doors explaining how you will be able to repair your home without having to raise your home.

If you have questions about what to do with your home, it is important that you ask the city, a licensed REALTOR®, FEMA and/or your insurance company. Do not guess and do not rely on hearsay. Each homeowner’s situation may be different. The Meyerland Community Improvement Association can try to answer your questions for you or assist you in deciding whom to contact.

If you reside in the Floodplain, there are facts you need to know in order to move forward with the repair of your home due to flood damage. You will need to meet with contractors to get estimates of the cost to repair your home. The contractor you hire will obtain the necessary City permits.

See Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs) on the city’s website: http://edocs.publicworks.houstontx.gov/documents/director/repairing_flood_damage_in_floodplain_faqs.pdf

See also www.houstonrecovers.org for helpful information during your recovery.

REPAIRS TO DAMAGED AREA TOTAL LESS THAN $10,000:

If repairs to your flood-damaged home cost less than $10,000, NOT including the cost to remove the damaged material, the City of Houston does not require you to obtain a permit to complete the repairs. You can proceed with your repair work.

 

REPAIRS TO DAMAGED AREA TOTAL MORE THAN $10,000:

If repairs to your flood damaged home will cost more than $10,000, NOT including the cost to remove the damaged material, you need to obtain a permit from the City of Houston. A good, licensed contractor will obtain the necessary permits.

If the repairs due to flood damage will cost you less than 50% of the appraised value of your home (calculated by taking the appraised value of your home and dividing by two), you can do the following:

  • Visit the Flood Management Office (FMO) where you will receive a Floodplain Development Permit. FMO, 832-394-8854.
  • Bring a copy of the flood damage repair checklist – which includes a project cost estimate worksheet - is available here OR bring a copy of the contractor’s bid o Bring the appraisal of your home (which can be found at www.hcad.org ) to the City of Houston permit office, 1002 Washington Avenue, (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  • Bring a copy of the Substantial Damage Determination Appeal – available here – if you received the “Substantial Damage” letter from the Mayor’s office.

 

If the repairs to your home will cost you more than 50% of the appraised value of your home (calculated by taking the appraised value of your home and dividing by two), you can:

  • Try to improve the appraised value of your structure

**by hiring a certified appraiser to review your property at the pre-damaged condition. If you have an appraisal performed within the last few years, it may suffice and you would not need a new appraisal. If your new value is more than two times the cost of your repairs, you can go to the city to get a Floodplain Development permit to proceed.

**by using the value of your home on your insurance claim’s Proof of Loss. If that value is more than two times the cost of your repairs, you may go to the city to get a Floodplain Development permit to proceed.

  • If your repairs still cost more than the value of your home, you will need to consider other options. They include:

**Raising your home so that the bottom floor is at least twelve inches above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Get several estimates prior to signing any agreement with a contractor. An “Elevation Certificate” will tell you what the BFE is for your property. We are seeing estimates for elevating a Meyerland home between $120,000 and $160,000. FEMA might offer assistance with this cost. See www.disasterassistance.org.

**Start over. Build a new home on your lot. Get several builder estimates prior to signing any agreement.

 
Before making either of these last decisions, please speak to a licensed Texas REALTOR® who will be assist you with the market value of your home.

City of Houston Permitting Questions answered on site at MCIA

The City of Houston is placing employees from the Flood Management Office and Code Enforcement Department on the property at the Meyerland Association office found at 4999 West Bellfort starting Friday June 12th through Sunday June 14th from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. They will be here to answer questions for homeowners who have received flood damage to their homes.

You can expect that they will be able to tell you if you need to get a permit and will give you the appropriate documents that will prepare you for your visit to their main office. That office is located at 1002 Washington Avenue. We have also just learned that the permit office on Washington Avenue will be open to receive flood damage permit requests this coming Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   

Please visit these helpful employees as they will assist you with moving forward with your repairs plans.

This information is also available online at www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/storm-damage-repair.html 

You may also visit www.houstonrecovers.org for other important updates and information.

Multi-Agency Resource Center

OPEN FROM 12:00 P.M. TO 8:00 P.M. THROUGH FRIDAY, JUNE, 12, 2015

An assistance center has opened at Westbury United Methodist Church found at 5200 Willowbend Blvd. (on Willowbend at West Bellfort). At this location, you find many agencies dedicated to assist you in the recovery of your flooded property and to deal with the stresses and concerns over the disaster event.

It is open to people of all denominations, and there is no cost for the services received. All homeowners who have suffered loss, should stop by and visit with the wonderful volunteers who have come from around the world to help flood victims manage their recovery.

Organizations on site include:

All Hands Volunteers
American Red Cross
Lone Star Legal Aid
Mental Health America
Texas Annual Conference United Methodist Church

And many others...

Join the Email List for flood recovery information

MCIA is actively sharing information with residents about flood recovery and resources that are available to residents.  All Meyerland residents are encouraged to sign up to receive communication from MCIA via email. 

Please fill out the information below to add your name to the email list. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

You will be added to the general MCIA email list and receive all future communications.  MCIA will never share your email address with other parties.

Keep watch out for theft of personal property.

With all of the items placed out at the curb for trash pick-up and in the yard for drying, other people from various parts of town have entered our neighborhood to take away some of these items. Unfortunately, they are helping themselves not only to the trash but also to non-trash items. Precinct 5 has many additional, very visible Deputies in our area and is assisting you in the protection of the items you want to keep, but they cannot be in all locations at all times. Please watch out for each other, close your doors and windows at night, set your alarms, and call Precinct 5 Deputies when a crime has been committed.

FEMA has declared disaster area for Harris County

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.

Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

You will need:

  • Social Security number
  • Current and pre-disaster address
  • Telephone number where you can be contacted
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • Routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account).
  • Description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.

The link below provides a helpful spreadsheet for documenting contents losses:

http://www.uphelp.org/pubs/home-inventory-and-contents-claim-tips

Don’t forget to:

  • Document your damage in detail using your digital camera or cell phone.
  • Clean out your home.  Place all debris near the curb.  The City is working to pick up this debris within 30 days.  Please do NOT spend money renting a dumpster, The City will be picking up debris BEGINNING Saturday May 30, 2015.  Please place it between the sidewalk and street for collection.
  • For the next 8 weeks MCIA will not be citing our residents for heavy trash violations.

What the City is doing for you:

  • City is coordinating volunteers to assist those hardest hit near Brays Bayou and will be posting information on www.houstontx.gov/emergency
  • CenterPoint is working in our area.  They must carefully test the lines so as to avoid electrocution. They are working to restore power ASAP.
  • City tap water is drinkable.

 
Extended MCIA Office Hours:  9 am- 5 pm.   Come by the office to charge your phones or other devices, get some water, sit in the A/C or get additional information.


MCIA website will be updated with the most current information.  You are welcome to call the office directly at 713.729.2167 with any questions.  In addition, please feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Neighbors helping Neighbors

Area residents who have not been affected by the flooding in their homes would like to help.  Many have volunteered with cleanup in homes, but others area willing to help by providing smaller, but still much needed services. Please contact these residents directly to make arrangements and get help with your needs.  

Laundry help

Dinah Schnitzer
4967 Dumfries
713-253-7460

Michelle Arnold
4943 Cheena
281-543-7437

Meg Groesbeck
5334 Wigton
281-658-4133

Shannon Lowry
lives in Westbury
713-305-2808
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(available weekends and evenings)

Jamie Lewis
5411 Imogene
713-703-2203
(available on weeknights)

Lillian Ortiz
lives in Westwood
832-623-1711

Tiffany Fisher
lives in Westbury
281-450-7677

Lillian S. Ragsdale
5223 Wigton
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Cora Wyne
Cheena
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Errands

Meg Groesbeck
5334 Wigton
281-658-4133

Shannon Lowry
lives in Westbury
713-305-2808
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(available weekends and evenings)

Jamie Lewis
5411 Imogene
713-703-2203
(available on weeknights)

Lillian Ortiz
lives in Westwood
832-623-1711

Tiffany Fisher
lives in Westbury
281-450-7677

Jim Fussell
5342 Rutherglenn
713-854-3754
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you are able to help and would like to be added to this list - please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide

your name
address
phone number
and what assistance you are able to provide.  

More Articles...

  1. More help available for flood victims
  2. Flood Debris Collection begins
  3. Assistance for uninsured property owners

Page 1 of 4