More than 1,600 homes flooded during Hurricane Harvey may be required to raise their homes, which can cost $150,000 or more.
"The letter of substantial damage is a tool for the city of Houston to ensure people are not repairing houses that really shouldn't be repaired," said Ed Wolff, a Meyerland resident working in real estate. The Houston Chronicle reports that Wolff has consulted with city officials on Harvey-related issues, and requested the substantial-damage designation from the city to be eligible for a mitigation loan from the Small Business Administration to elevate his house, which flooded for the third time in three years.
Arkitektura Development Inc., a Kemah-based firm that specializes in elevating houses, said it typically costs between $65 and $70 per square foot to raise a home. Since Harvey, the company has taken orders to elevate houses in neighborhoods including Meyerland, Linkwood, Westbury, Bellaire, Maplewood, Nottingham Forest, Willow Meadows and Braes Heights, said owner Phillip Contreras.