Some $30.4 million in funding is back on the table, allowing Metro to continue with a home buyout program resulting from last year’s flood.
According to Mayor Karl Dean’s office, the Federal Emergency Management Agency funds that had been frozen, putting the buyout program on hold, are now available again. That has allowed Metro to begin closing on 122 homes that were part of the city’s Hazard Mitigation Home Buyout program to buy the homes of participating flood victims at the pre-flood value of the home.
Metro already bought out 97 homes prior to the funding freeze with another seven closures pending.
In all, 226 homes in Metro are set to be part of the buyout program, which is largely funded by FEMA and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Metro Water Services administers the home buyout program.
“It was unfortunate that FEMA delayed these funds to flood victims in Nashville, but I am grateful to Metro Water Services for acting quickly to get this money to homeowners on the buyout program as soon as possible,” Dean said.
FEMA funds were depleted by a series of natural disasters earlier this year, and on Sept. 1 funding was frozen awaiting congressional action to restore them.
“I am glad to see the recovery moving again,” said U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper. “Congress should’ve never played games while Nashville was hurting.”
The buyout program gave first priority to homes that were in the floodways and sustained damage exceeding 40 percent of the total value of the structure. The $30.4 million in funding includes $3.8 million in matching funds from Metro.