Morgan Lumbley, Montgomery County’s Disaster Recovery Manager, will hold community outreach meetings in Spring, Conroe and Splendora in the next 10 days to explain buyout options for flood victims. “It is my hope that through positive engagement we can provide the ability for homeowners to relocate out of harm’s way,” said Lumbley.
See specifics about times, dates and places in the poster below.
The primary purpose of the meetings will be to explain FEMA’s 2021 Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program, but Lumbley will also explain HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) buyout program.
If you’re a Montgomery County resident and you’ve ever wondered whether you qualified for a buyout, whether you could get fair compensation for your home, or how you could apply, these meetings are for you.
The meetings will cover:
- Who qualifies (eligibility requirements)
- For which type of assistance (FEMA vs. HUD)
- How long it takes
- The application process
- How homes are valued
- How to get help filling out the forms if you need it
Importance of Meetings and Timing
Lumbley described the meetings as community outreach. She needs to identify properties owners interested in buyouts and determine their eligibility. Once she does that, she will apply to FEMA for an FMA grant (Flood Mitigation Assistance) equal to the total value of all homes that quality.
“If we get awarded a grant,” said Lumbley, “those are the properties that we look to purchase first. Others may be considered only if someone drops out of the process.”
FEMA Requirements Explained at Meeting
The FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant basically has two requirements.
- It has to be a severe repetitive loss or a just a repetitive loss property, as indicated by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- You must currently have a NFIP policy backed by FEMA. Private insurance is not eligible.
Lumbley cautions that getting a buyout can take years. “It’s not a tomorrow-type thing,” she said. “We may not have anything final for another year and a half to two years. So we’ll talk about that first. Then realizing that some may not qualify for FEMA’s program, we will also talk about HUD buyouts.”
FEMA Applications Due Back November 15th
Once Lumbley determines the number of homes that meet requirements, she will build a budget around those eligible homes. “We are basically saying to FEMA, ‘If you give us this money, these are the homes that we’re going to buy out. That’s how we establish the budget.”
“It all comes down to how many eligible individuals want to participate,” said Lumbley. “We will submit the county’s application to FEMA with five or a 100 homes.”
Definitions of Repetitive Loss and Severe Repetitive Loss
“Very specific definitions exist for repetitive loss and severe repetitive loss properties,” she said. “A repetitive loss property has had flood related damage on two occasions in which the cost of repairs averaged together equal or exceed 25 percent of the market value of the structure – at the time of the floods. Severe repetitive loss properties have had four or more separate floods, with each claim being $5000 or more. And at least two of those claims have to be within a 10 year period.”
“Another way to qualify as a severe repetitive loss is to have at least two separate NFIP claims that that total more than the market value of the structure,” she added.
“We will write the county’s 2021 FEMA grant application to reflect current market value of homes. If FEMA approves that, applicants would get whatever the competitive open market value is on the day that the appraiser goes out to appraise it.”
HUD grants are based on pre-disaster valuation. “So it goes back to the disaster on which funding is based,” said Lumbley. “We’re currently working off the 2015/2016 floods and Hurricane Harvey. So what value did the home have before the storm hit, minus any funding that the owner might have received that did not go back into the home as it was intended?”
Eligible Years Vary by Type of Grant
Community Development Block Grants from HUD are disaster specific. So to be eligible for a HUD grant, you must have been damaged during one of those ‘funded storms,’ such as 2015, 2016 or Harvey.
But FEMA FMA grants are not disaster based. So as long as you have a current NFIP backed flood insurance policy and you meet the definitions of repetitive loss or a severe repetitive loss, you could to be eligible. For instance, maybe you flooded four times in 1978, 1982, 1994 and 2001.”
it gets complicated. If you’re interested in a buyout, the time to explore it is now – at one of these meetings – and the person to ask is Lumbley.
For more information, visit the Recovery MXTX page on Facebook.
If you know someone interested in a buyout, make sure he/she attends one of these meetings. Please share this post with others in Montgomery County.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/3/2021 based on information from Morgan Lumbley
1527 Days since Hurricane Harvey