Waveland looking to clear out flood prone homes

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - For some Waveland residents whose homes still bear the scars of multiple storms, there may be a chance to start over, thanks to a FEMA acquisition program.

"What this project will do is give residents the fair market value of their structure, post-Katrina. Once that happens, it will buy their house. Then it will be deeded over to the city. That structure will be demolished, and then that piece of land will forever be green space," Fire Chief Mike Smith said.

The homes being looked at are on what's called a repetitive loss properties list. That's any home that has had two or more claims within a 10 year period equaling or exceeding $1,000 in value. By removing those homes, this process will help save money for national flood insurance programs.

"The amount of funding that we're approved for at this time is $933,000. On the current list, we have seven properties that we're acquiring. Those are all severe loss or repetitive loss properties. Those properties all received substantial damage during Hurricane Katrina as well," Smith said.

No action has been taking as of yet, but the chief is hoping the city can move forward with this project, and open it up to more residents in the future.

"Currently, the application is closed as of today. There's seven properties on that list to be bought out. We're hoping to expand that list in the near future. We actually discussed it today with MEMA. For those who don't desire to be bought out, we're also looking at trying to get elevation grants to help those people elevate their homes," Smith said.

The city applied for this program for the second time back in 2010, and was approved this past May. At this time, there's no word yet as to whether or not approval for an expansion of the project will be given.

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