Homeowners open their rental houses to storm survivors

By Rose-Ann Aragon - Reporter

HOUSTON - Homeowners and the Houston Association of Realtors are stepping it up to help those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Instead of selling, many homeowners have opted to offer their space to survivors for short-term rental periods.

"It is truly a blessing, because I didn't know where we were going to go. Like I said, I didn't know where we were going to go. We tried so many places," said Jan Jasper, whose home was flooded.

Through HAR's website, people can search for homes in the metro area for free or low rent for rental periods of one to 12 weeks. People can also list places for rent to survivors.

Jasper met Brooke Brown, who owned a home in the Heights.

"Their website had an opportunity for us to post our listing almost immediately, I don't know any other company that could do that that quickly, and as soon as we posted it, sure enough we had a lot of people interested from a police officer, to a family having their first kid and we were happy to provide this for them," said Brown.

The HAR website shows people a step-by-step process to do that. For Jasper, Brown waived the deposit and relaxed all animal-related fees and rules. She also lowered the rent. Jasper was able to keep her family together.

"It was very difficult because so many people turned me down because of the size of my dogs, and so I was so appreciative that she could be flexible when so many people weren't," said Jasper.

Brown said it is all about giving back.

"This property was scheduled to be torn down. I think God had his hand so that we could help people. God provided for us so that we could provide for them," said Brown.

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