FEMA Buying Out 90 Flood Damaged Vermont Homes, So Far

March 18, 2013

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to buy out a total of 90 properties across Vermont that were damaged by Tropical Storm Irene and other 2011 flooding.

Eight structures were deemed ineligible for the federal hazard mitigation program and 24 applications are still pending.

FEMA has committed $12.8 million for the 90 structures, mostly homes, which have been approved so-far. The pending acquisitions total $6.1 million.

FEMA’s hazardous mitigation program pays a portion of the pre-flood value of structures in areas likely to be hit again by future flooding. The structures are then torn down so they can’t be damaged again.

Under the plan, communities buy the properties from the homeowner. The towns are reimbursed by FEMA for 75 percent of the pre-flood value of the property. The structures on the properties in flood prone properties will be removed. The communities then buy the properties from the property owners.

Earlier last week, the state announced it had found a different grant that could be used to help buy out five properties — four in Jamaica and one in Hartford — that did not qualify for the federal program.

The state is using the same grant used to buy the ineligible properties to help pay the 25 percent match on those that have been approved.

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