FEMA Buy-Out On Bolivar Includes 800 Homes

The federal government has agreed to pay the bulk of the bill to buy out nearly 800 homeowners on Bolivar Peninsula. The move ensures nobody will rebuild homes that in many cases were completely destroyed or heavily damaged during Hurricane Ike. Jack Williams reports.

It's the largest government funded buy-out in Texas and involves 759 structures on Bolivar Peninsula that are in the
100-year flood plain. FEMA will pay over $100 million, or 75-percent of the cost to buy-out property owners. Galveston County and the state will pitch-in more than $30 million. This is FEMA's Ray Perez.

"This is to mitigate future disaster loses. That's what the whole program is about. It's to put in in perpetuity, public land, that way the folks who own that property will get their money and they can go build elsewhere or move elsewhere. It will never again be the in the eye of the storm, so to speak."

Bolivar Peninsula was nearly wiped clean during Ike and many homeowners still haven't started the rebuilding process more than a year after the storm. FEMA says removing damaged structures reduces health and safety risks and could be a boost to the area's continued recovery.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...