The Office of Rural Community Affairs, in cooperation with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, will hold five public hearings to obtain comments on the distribution and use of $1.3 billion in disaster recovery funds for areas affected by natural disasters in 2008, including hurricanes Dolly and Ike.

Public participation is encouraged either through attendance at one of the public hearings or in writing. The public hearings will be held in Galveston, Dec. 8, Houston, Dec. 9, Harlingen, Dec. 15 and Beaumont, Dec. 16. Written comments should be submitted to the Office of Rural Community Affairs by Jan. 5, 2009. For times and locations, visit ORCA online at