Road to recovery: Habitat for Humanity homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey

By Leigh Frillici - Reporter

HOUSTON - Nearly 200 Houston Habitat for Humanity homes have been damaged by Harvey. Channel 2 has partnered with the organization to help build homes for deserving families. 

Abdel Amraoui and his family worked alongside KPRC 2 to earn one of those homes and is just one of the many in desperate need of help.

“About 2 1/2 feet of water came in just and destroyed the house, and the furniture and the appliances and cars and everything,” Abdel Amraoui said.

It took the Amraouis 17 years to become homeowners. 

Thanks to a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Channel 2, the Amraoui's were handed keys last year, and in one day this Harrel Park home was destroyed by Harvey's flood waters.

"We just achieved this dream and now we feel that it's been partially destroyed," Amraoui said.

The Amraoui family is not alone. 

Habitat for Humanity said Harvey destroyed 176 of their homes and 110 of those homes are in Harrel Park. They said the other 65 are in Greensboro Manor. 

Now Habitat is trying to help their homeowners repair.  

“None of this is in anybody's budget - the homeowners or Habitat or anybody in Houston,” said Allison Hay, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity. “The funds have been coming in from people who go to our website and make a donation.”

An army of volunteers have come daily. Monday, employees from the Las Vegas WYNN hotel helped muck and gut the damaged homes.

The manpower helped as the costs add up.

Amraoui said he had polio as a child and his specially outfitted car was destroyed by the floodwaters. He said he only had liability insurance.

FEMA assessed his home damage at $12,500 and Habitat estimates repairs will cost $27,000.

“I believe that $12,500 isn't nearly enough to fix the house, take care of the appliances that were lost, to replace the furniture, clothing other stuff that was lost in the house,” Amraoui said.  “There's a big gap in there and we don't know how to how we are going to fill it.”

Habitat is working to bridge the gap.

“What we're doing right now is asking large corporations, ‘Can you possibly give us 176 air conditioning units? Can you give us 176 cabinets?’ and to date we are proud that the carrier, International Group, on Friday donated 176 air conditioning units for all of the Habitat homes that were damaged,” Hay said. “So that lowers their repair bill … and then we will try to get as many donations as possible and from a lot of places.”

For the Amraoui’s family, that news brings hope.

“We are going to rebuild again,” Amraoui said. “We want to be back home.”

He has set up a GoFundMe Page to help with expenses.

You can also donate to Habitat for Humanity, by clicking link here.

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