Flooded Texans resist government buyout offers

4 weeks ago 35



In Harris County, flood-prone residents are resisting buyouts despite repeated flooding, citing affordability and attachment to their homes.

Emily Foxhall reports for The Texas Tribune.


In short:

  • Harris County Flood Control District wants to buy properties in flood-prone areas along the San Jacinto River.
  • The district has identified 2,400 properties for potential buyouts but has only purchased about 800.
  • Many residents, especially lower-income individuals, worry buyouts won’t provide enough to relocate safely.

Key quote:

"It's not as though it's a guarantee of reducing risks to that family.”

— Alessandra Jerolleman, Director of Research for the Center on Environment, Land and Law at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

Why this matters:

Flooding in Harris County is a recurrent issue, and while buyouts can reduce future risks, they may not offer sufficient support for displaced residents. Affordability is also a central issue. Many of these residents, often living in lower-income areas, find the prospect of relocating daunting due to rising housing costs elsewhere. The compensation offered through buyouts rarely covers the full expense of securing comparable homes in safer areas. This economic imbalance leaves them with a stark choice: stay and risk future floods or move and face financial instability.

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