In  today's episode of the Flood Guru podcast we are discussing the FEMA buyback program. what is the buyback program? That's what we're going to be discussing today. Are you a candidate for it? We want to talk about those things. So first of all, what is the FEMA buyback program?
The FEMA buy back program is just like, it sounds, it's the program where FEMA goes in and they purchase certain properties that may have flooded more than one time to help minimize future flood losses. So this is what the program is. So who really qualifies for the program?
Well, generally the buyback program qualifies for primary residences to be bought back. Now the catch is that while these properties may have flooded more than once, it has to occur as a result of a presidential disaster declaration. The reason for this is the FEMA buy back program falls under what's called the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. So this is grant money does given by FEMA to the local and the state government to help with this buyback. So who's ultimately responsible for this?  Well actually it's ultimately up to the local and the state community to determine, if they want to buy any property back, buy any houses back and which ones they want to buy. The reason for this is the hazard mitigation grant program that local communities get as designated amount towards a lot of different things. So it may be that there's just not enough money in that them to buy those houses back.
So the way it works is, you know when there's grant program come in, FEMA gives the local and the state community 75% of the funding and the state and the local communities have to come up with the other 25% and so coming up with that additional funds can be an issue if there are law properties and they'd be bought out. And the reason for that is you start talking about fair market value, you know, customers wanting to get that money for their house. And then the other two things that come into play, they play a major role and buy back programs. Being successful is that it's a volunteer program so you don't have to sell your house back to FEMA. You can choose to and your maybe, or it may be neighbor, may choose not to. And then the problem with that is you've got public utilities like power water that you're maybe still filtering down to one or two houses where there used to be 10 houses there.
Pretty young lady taking a decision with scale above her head
So then it just doesn't make sense from a financial standpoint. The other reason is that it creates a tax revenue issue. So when you bought these properties back and you know you eliminate these houses, you're eliminating some tax revenue for the local community, which could put the local community in a bad situation. So those are two things that kind of hold back the buyback program.
Now the buy back program can be a very lengthy process. As the homeowner has to come to an agreement with FEMA, there are certain qualifications that the homeowner has to show in order for their property to even qualify to be bought back. Then they had to submit everything for the FEMA for approval. They have to submit everything to the state and local government for approval. Then they all have to come to an agreement on what they would purchase that house for.
So this is kind of how the buyback back program works. Now the buyback program can be a very beneficial program, especially in certain coastal areas that are flooded over and over again. Or there is also an area in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009 around the six flags area. They had a lot of issues and there were flooded more than one time, and so FEMA did come in and buy them. So this is what the FEMA buyback program is. So if you've got questions, remember you can always visit our website, Flood insurance Guru go to our YouTube and our Facebook channels, the flood insurance guru, where we do our daily flood education videos. You can also check out our blogs on our website as well, or even check out our open Facebook group, flood education and flood insurance awareness where we answer flood questions every day.
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Chris Greene


Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation