Mr. and Mrs. Zavala

Mr. and Mrs. Zavala have been living in their home in the Northside region for over 40 years. Both are active in community organizations. Mrs. Zavala performed this summer at Miller Outdoor Theatre with her senior citizen group, and they’ve been featured in local news for their own story as long-time high school sweethearts! For such an active pair of community members, having a stable residence is important, especially as they get older. 

The pair was one of many families to suffer major damages to the basic structure of their home during Hurricane Harvey. They were also among the first group of families to start the reconstruction process of our #BuildItForward Homeowner Assistance Program. Construction started for the Zavalas on August 1, and by October 16, they were able to move back in. Their kitchen was entirely redone, along with the flooring and walls. Lighting features were updated to reflect the latest standards and the needs for their age. “This ought to last us until…well, until we kick the bucket,” said Mr. Zavala of the new home. “Now it’s all done over – new cabinets, new floors, new walls, so it’s completely new. You can’t beat that.” 

When they moved back into their home, the Zavalas were eager to get settled, walking into the house ready to spend the day painting and getting ready for the movers. “It’s great, I mean we are very, very happy to come back – even our dog is happy to come back,” says Mr. Zavala. The application process took time and effort and was frustrating at times, but, he added, “The Housing Department was great. They pushed and pushed for everything that we asked for, and they pushed more.” The pair are doing their best to support other homeowners seeking aid.  

Others seeking assistance for rehabilitation on their Harvey-damaged homes can start by taking the Harvey Recovery Survey at