Houston Public Media | Hard News 2023 Submission

Sara Willa Ernst, Health Reporter


Sara Willa Ernst


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

“Pace of Harris County home buyouts slower than hoped for after Hurricane Harvey”

For the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, Reporter Sara Willa Ernst digs into the notoriously slow and inadequate home buyouts programs in Harris County.

It's part 4 of a series examining how well the Houston region has recovered from the largest flooding disaster in its history, and whether it is prepared for the next major storm.

Data acquired by a records request shows that the pace of local buyouts have dropped in recent years, even though flood risk is rising for more residents. The story explores the county's current strategy regarding home buyouts and the impact these policy decisions have on whole communities.

A companion to the sound-rich audio pieces is an online web story that provides photos, graphs, and additional reporting.