By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Miami-Dade Country announced the Hurricane Irma Voluntary Home Buyout Program focused on Arch Creek and Biscayne Gardens, which according to the application, was authorized on July 19th and has a deadline of August 15th.
As part of the Hurricane Irma long-term recovery process, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Office of Disaster Recovery recently created the grant program called the Hurricane Irma Voluntary Home Buyout Program for residents of Miami-Dade County.
County officials explain the program was created to purchase residential property in high flood-risk areas. All properties purchased through this program will become public parks or open public spaces.
These properties will not be redeveloped, which will help protect lives in future storms and will help provide flood-protection for surrounding areas. This funding is intended to help residents in low and moderate-income communities impacted by Irma.
“We’ve learned intuitively you have to go to the drainage basin,” said Jim Murley, Miami-Dade’s chief resilience officer.
As reported by the Miami Herald, in 2016, experts with the Urban Land Institute came up with a plan to make the area more resilient to flooding worsened by climate change. A main part of that plan is buying out homes and returning them to nature.
“If you can eliminate repetitive flood loss properties, that helps your flood rating, which brings down the cost for flood insurance for everyone in the community,” said Stoddard, the South Miami mayor.
The program will be focused on addressing needs in the Arch Creek and Biscayne Gardens areas within Unincorporated (16 communities) Miami-Dade County. Residents must apply to the program through a municipality or County.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Hurricane Irma Voluntary Home Buyout Program application for funding will be available for public review and comments through Aug. 15, 2019.
A hard copy of the application will be posted at the Office of Resilience, 111 NW 1st Street, 12th floor, Miami through Aug. 15, 2019. For more information about the program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.