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Floodplain Property Acquisition Program

When a property or a neighborhood experiences repeated flooding, costs for the property owner, the community and the state can escalate rapidly. Flooding may impact the stability of a home or an entire neighborhood, damage or destroy personal property, impact property values and lead to injuries or loss of life. Emergency responders may risk their own lives to help residents escape rising waters. And while the waters eventually recede, the misery caused by floods is long lasting. The impact of a storm surge may have structurally weakened formerly sturdy homes. Water-laden walls and floors may set the stage for the development of hard-to-eradicate colonies of mold that can present health risks for vulnerable residents, particularly those with compromised immune systems, children and the elderly. Repeated flooding may leave homes uninhabitable and unlikely to attract a buyer. For all of these reasons, states and federal governments have acted to intervene in this cycle of decline by offering voluntary buyout programs to homeowners in neighborhoods that have been subject to repeated flooding. Once purchased by the municipality, the homes are demolished and the property is designated as open space. Property acquisition is the most permanent form of flood hazard mitigation.

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