The Texas Land Commissioner was in Rockport Thursday morning to present the keys to a FEMA manufactured housing unit to a couple who lost everything to Hurricane Harvey.
Not only did Rene and Bo Carettini lose their home to Hurricane Harvey, their 26-year-old autistic son had to move away with relatives because of it; but now, with their new FEMA manufactured house, they said their life is getting back on track.
"There was nothing salvageable about it," Rene said. "It actually looked like a giant came along and picked it up, crushed it together, balled it up, and set it back down."
Rene and Bo were grateful and excited to be given the keys to the new FEMA manufactured home.
"So far FEMA has identified 230 families that are eligible for direct housing assistance here in Aransas County," Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said.
Bush, along with federal, state and local officials, was on hand to congratulate the Carettini's and reassure other residents that housing help is on the way.
"There's folks that we are going to be moving them out of whatever temporary building they're in, whether they're living with relatives or staying with someone else or they're in a TSA hotel," said Mike Koerner, Aransas County Disaster Recovery Manager. "That's folks coming back to our community, so it's a very positive thing."
According to the Texas General Land Office, 660 manufactured homes have been distributed statewide, with 70 in Aransas County and 25 in the Rockport area. So far, 26 residents have been given keys to homes, and nine more families will get their keys in the next week.
The GLO has also distributed 92 travel trailers to two different RV sites in Aransas County.
For Bo and Rene, this means moving out of their tiny travel trailer. It also makes waiting for their new home to be delivered much easier.
"We weren't looking forward to living in 17-feet of space for the next eight months, so thank you so, so much," Rene said.
And now, their son will be able to come back home to live with them.
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