Victoria County Commissioners approve application process for buyout program

Victoria County Commissioners approved the application process for a buyout program to buy homes located in flood zones outside the city limits

Victoria County has been allocated $2.5 in federal funds from the Texas General Land Office to buyout flood-prone homes.

“For the purpose of buyout repeated flood prone homes out in the county, these homes would need to have been affected by Hurricane Harvey and also be in a flood way,” said County Judge Ben Zeller.

The county decided to use a voluntary buyout program.

“Offer on a voluntary basis so folks can choose to apply, but we are not using eminent domain or anything to take people’s houses against their wishes,” tells Tyler Smith Acquisition Grant Manager.

You might be wondering, “how do I qualify?” Well, here are a few requirements.

“Being an owner of a property is required to sell it to us, citizenship is a program requirement from the federal level. We also have to use 70% of the money to assist low to moderate income families, we will be collecting income documentation to verify that we are meeting that national objective requirement,” Smith explains. “We also will be verifying storm damage, we will also be verifying any type of insurance information or any kind of repairs, so we can complete the duplication of benefits requirement.”

The purpose of this buyout program is to maximize the recovery efforts from natural disasters.

“The intent with buyouts opposed to home repairs is to bolster the county’s resiliency to severe weather events by treating from the most dangerous and flood prone areas of the county. So people that have been flooded multiple times and also received damage from Hurricane Harvey, we invite you to apply, and we can help you in the repetitive loss and help you afford the process of relocating to new housing outside of the flood plain,” exclaims Smith.

If you would like more information or to apply you can reach out to Tyler Smith with Grantworks at 512-420-0303 ext.346 or email at tyler@grantworks.net.

All the money is from federal funds so no tax dollars will be used.

If you decide to opt into the program, you will be compensated fairly.

“The intent is to offer homeowners the pre- storm fair market value and offer it on a voluntary basis,” declares Smith.

Right now they are still in the planning phase of the program, but they hope to have intake meetings in early fall to assist qualifying homeowners.

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