Coast property could be eligible for federal flood-buyout program

JACKSON COUNTY — Eighty-six properties in Jackson County could be eligible for the federal government’s home elevation or buyout program.

The Mississippi Press reports supervisors were told this week that notices would be sent out to eligible property owners to determine if they are interested.

In February, the county hired Thompson Consulting Services to submit an application for FEMA’s Severe Repetitive Loss grant program.

The program is meant to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to severe repetitive loss structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program.

Supervisors were told that the eligible properties are spread throughout the county.

David Gardner with Thompson Consulting said interested property owners would have two options: to elevate the home or be bought out. He said any buy-out property would be turned over to the county to be maintained as a green space.

Homeowners will be notified through the mail of their eligibility, but others who believe they may be eligible and want to participate may contact the county planning department or grant department to learn more.

“Even if they’re not on the list, we can work with them to see if they meet the criteria,” Gardner said.

Before a buyout plan is approved, FEMA officials analyze the flood damage history and current value of each targeted home to determine which would cost the federal government less in the long run: continued disaster aid for future floods or a one-time purchase that severs the funding line for good.

The program also provides for the elevating of homes in areas that repeatedly flood.

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