Flood Plain Moving Money From FEMA

The Harris County Flood Control District gets
a grant from FEMA that will help to continue the
effort to move homeowners out of harms way.

Rod Rice reports.

The 1.9-million dollar grant will help flood control relocate nine east end families who live near the mouth of Brays Bayou.

“Unfortunately their homes were built in a very low lying area, they are in a flood plain, they do have a history of flooding and this will enable them to find comparable homes outside of the flood plain.”

The Flood Control District’s Heather Saucier says FEMA will pay 75% of the fair market value of a property located in a flood plain. That leaves the homeowner with a 25% loss.  She says thanks to FEMA grants like this one flood control can kick in that 25% and even do more to help a homeowner break even.

“And so, if a comparable home outside the flood plain ends up costing more money we will make up that difference, to a certain degree, in addition to paying brokerage fees and closing costs and moving expenses as well.”

It’s only been about 30 years since flood control maps have been available so, says Saucier, many of the 25-hundred homes that have been bought since the 90’s were built and purchased without being fully aware of the flooding potential.

FEMA says it is cheaper to buy these properties than to pay for future damages again and again. Local governments don’t have to provide expensive and potentially dangerous emergency services and it reduces the cost of the National Flood Insurance Program.

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