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Commissioners Court to Vote on Pre-Harvey Harris County Buyouts

Oct 10, 2017 Back



October 9, 2017



Karen Hastings, Harris County Flood Control District Project Communications Manager






Harris County Commissioners Court will vote Tuesday, October 10, on two home buyout agenda items for Harris County. The first home buyout item is in partnership with City of Houston to address pre-Hurricane Harvey repetitive flooding. The City of Houston was awarded a $10.6M Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) earlier this year to buyout homes within the city limits that were impacted by floods that occurred in 2015. The City identified three areas where the Harris County Flood Control District has purchased homes in the past that also met the requirements of the CDBG program and will provide the Flood Control District with funding to pursue buyouts on its behalf. The Flood Control District identified buyout as the preferred flood risk reduction method in these areas because these homes are so deep in the floodplain that a structural project (i.e., stormwater detention basin or channel modification) would not sufficiently decrease their risk of flooding.

The second home buyout item up for approval on Tuesday is authorization to move forward with appraisals on properties included in a pre-Harvey Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant application that was submitted by the Flood Control District in 2016. This grant application was recently approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and it includes the proposed purchase of 41 qualifying properties within Harris County. This FMA grant program requires that each buyout property have an active flood insurance policy. Properties located in buyout areas where the Flood Control District has previously completed numerous other acquisitions are preferred. FMA is a nationwide competitive grant program for which the Flood Control District submits an application annually. 

About Home Buyout Activities in the Harris County Region

Since Hurricane Harvey, the Harris County Flood Control District has been accepting “Notices of Voluntary Interest” in the Flood Control District’s Home Buyout Program. The Flood Control District has maintained a Home Buyout Program since 1985, funded through several federal grants, as well as local funds. The Flood Control District has not yet received federal funding for buyouts specifically related to Hurricane Harvey. Home buyout programs, in general, may be funded in a number of ways, each with its own unique criteria. A local governmental entity is required to serve as the sponsor for a buyout program. There may be several different home buyout programs ongoing in any given area, at any given time, funded by different sources with varying home buyout criteria. To learn more about the Flood Control District’s home buyout program or the latest news related home buyouts in Harris County, visit


The Harris County Flood Control District provides flood damage reduction projects that work, with appropriate regard for community and natural values. With more than 1,500 bayous and creeks totaling approximately 2,500 miles in length, the Flood Control District accomplishes its mission by devising flood damage reduction plans, implementing the plans and maintaining the infrastructure. To learn more about the Flood Control District, visit


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