In an effort to provide adequate compensation for repeat flood victims, including undocumented immigrants, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis is seeking to add $7.7 million to a buyout program aimed at facilitating their relocation.
Harris County Commissioner Ellis’ Buyout Program
Harris County Commissioner Ellis emphasized that this groundbreaking initiative marks the first mandatory buyout program of its kind in the United States.
The Project Recovery Post Disaster Relocation and Buyout Program incorporates the SAFE (Strategic Acquisition for Flood Elimination) initiative.
This mandatory buyout program is specifically designed to mitigate the risk of future flooding and enhance the safety of both residents and businesses situated in areas that have faced repetitive flooding, a published news article reported.
Its primary objective is to ensure the safety of families amidst increasingly severe flooding occurrences.
However, for the county to achieve its goals, it is crucial that residents receive appropriate compensation.
To achieve parity with federal funding levels, Harris County Commissioner Ellis has proposed an increase in the allocation of benefits, amounting to $7.7 million.
Project Recovery Post Disaster Relocation and Buyout Program
Under this program, property owners in targeted areas will be offered fair market appraised value for their properties, whether residential, commercial, or vacant.
Relocation assistance encompasses a range of support, such as advisory services, moving and related expenses, business re-establishment services, replacement housing payments, rental assistance payments, and down payment assistance for replacement homes.
This program stands as one of the pioneering mandatory buyout programs established in response to the climate crisis. Previously, low-income families who had no choice but to participate in the buyout were not being offered adequate financial support.
Additionally, undocumented families residing in Precinct One were facing differential treatment compared to those with citizenship.
Harris County Commissioner Ellis strongly advocates for equal treatment and fair compensation regardless of immigration status.
Harris County Commissioner firmly believes that one’s ability to recover from a climate disaster and reside in a safe, flood-resistant home should not be influenced by their immigration status.