As much of the country turns their attention to raging snowstorms and presidential tweets, black Texans are still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. This is according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Episcopal Health Foundation. Newsweek reports that the organizations revealed troubling statistics.
The government approved 34% of FEMA assistance requests for white residents and just 13% for black residents.
“The conventional wisdom that Texans hit by Hurricane Harvey have recovered is wrong,” president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation said in a press release. “The people in the hardest-hit areas are telling us that they still face major hurdles before their lives return to normal.”
Newsweek reports that low-income residents, especially people of color, were more affected by Harvey. The Kaiser survey found that 66% of black respondents were still waiting for aid. Additionally, 36% of Hispanic respondents said that they are struggling to pay rent or mortgages, and 37% of black residents find it difficult to buy food.
In situations of disaster, more affluent residents are generally less affected. Luxuries like hurricane impact windows, which can withstand winds over 100mph, can give protection to their homes. And when the government does not offer assistance to those without this protection, underrepresented communities suffer — even months later.
According to Newsweek, one in six survey respondents said that the hurricane created a health problem or worsened an existing condition.
“We want government and other recovery funds to use this information to make good decisions about how to reach those most in need,” Elena Marks, president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation, said in a statement, according to Blavity. “This survey gives an important voice to hard-hit communities that may have been forgotten, especially those with the greatest needs and fewest resources following the storm.”