News Flash

City News

Posted on: January 4, 2024

Panama City kicking off Hurricane Sally Voluntary Home Buyout Program

Blue Creative Minimalist Office Program Learning Facebook Post (Facebook Post)

The City of Panama City will hold a Kickoff Meeting for the Hurricane Sally Voluntary Home Buyout Program on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. Homeowners interested in participating in the program can attend in attend in-person at City Hall in Room 010 or virtually via Zoom. The Meeting ID is 839 3138 9598 and Passcode is 885734. Attendance is not mandatory to participate in the program but highly encouraged.

Florida Commerce awarded Panama City $5 million for the Hurricane Sally Voluntary Home Buyout Program. The program was created to encourage risk reduction through the purchase of residential property in high-risk flood areas with the goal of reducing the impact of future disasters. Funding is provided through the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program offered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Florida Commerce.

Description

The Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program facilitates the purchase of homes damaged by Hurricane Sally located in areas frequently affected by events such as floods or hurricanes, where the risk of future damage is high. The goal is to relocate residents to safer, less vulnerable areas. The buyout process includes assessing the current value of properties, providing fair market compensation to homeowners, and then demolishing the acquired homes. This land is subsequently converted into green spaces, acting as natural barriers against future disasters. The program ensures the safety and well-being of residents and contributes to the long-term disaster mitigation strategy of the community. Participation in the program is strictly voluntary, offering a vital option for homeowners in high-risk areas to relocate to safer locations. Eligible homeowners with qualified income may be eligible to receive a housing replacement assistance incentive of up to $25,000, while those with non-qualified income may be eligible for a housing replacement allowance of up to $10,000.

Eligibility

To qualify, homes must have been directly damaged by Hurricane Sally. Property owners who have received Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding for property repairs is not eligible for buyout assistance.

Eligible property types include non-commercial properties such as owner-occupied structures, residential rental properties, or vacant lots. For a property to be eligible for the buyout program, it must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The property is located within the designated areas (SFHA or High-Risk Flood Area); or
  • The property is located outside the designated areas and meets one of the following conditions:
    • It is substantially damaged (51 percent or more of the pre-event FMV of the structure is damaged); or
    • It is considered a health/safety risk; or
    • It is located within a floodway.

Properties acquired, accepted, or from which structures are removed will have a permanent deed restriction, ensuring they are maintained only for open space, recreational, or wetlands management purposes.

Homeowners who have questions about the program can reach out to Disaster Recovery Project Manager Jennifer Aldridge via email at jaldridge@panamacity.gov.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in City News