FEMA to Buy Flooded Houston Homes

In the hopes of helping some Houston homeowners rebuild in more sustainable living places, FEMA will buy some homes flooded during Hurricane Harvey.

1 minute read

September 13, 2017, 10:00 AM PDT

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark


Harvey Floods Houston

2C2KPHOTOGRAPHY / Flickr

Homeowners looking to recover from Hurricane Harvey don't always want to rebuild where they were. Sometimes it makes more sense to start over somewhere else. To that end, as David Hunn writes in the Houston Chronicle, "The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it is working to accelerate buyouts of repeatedly flooded properties following Hurricane Harvey in hopes of helping Houstonians escape perennially soggy neighborhoods and keeping the federal government from paying to rebuild homes time and time again." 

The costs of the rebuilding are still coming in. "By the end of Wednesday, more than 80,000 Texans had filed claims and FEMA had issued about $76 million in advance payments," Hunn reports.

How feasible a buyout plan will be and what scale it will reach is yet to be seen. FEMA's buyout program typically doesn't come into play until years after a disaster has happened, but officials intend to use the strategy in the short term.

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