Metro: 305 homes eligible for buyout

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 4:15pm

Letters have been mailed to 305 owners of flood-damaged property in Nashville who are eligible for a voluntary home buyout program, Metro Water Services announced Tuesday.

The purchasing of homes under the Hazard Mitigation Home Buyout program, an initiative designed to reduce the number of structures in areas susceptible to future flooding, will come from a combination of federal, state and local funds.

Included with the notification is a letter of interest, which is to be returned to Metro Water Services by Aug. 1.

Submitting a letter of interest is the first step in the buyout process; however, a letter of interest does not commit a property owner to sell their home. Homeowners can change their mind at any time before the real estate transaction is complete. Once a letter of interest is submitted, property owners are to be contacted by a Metro Water Services employee about the buyout process.

Homes were selected for the buyout program based on their location in the floodplain and the amount of damage they sustained during the May flood. Priority was given to homes in the floodway that sustained damage greater than 50 percent of the structure’s appraised value. Homes were then grouped to avoid isolating individual parcels.

“We have spent the last month conducting assessments and determining which properties should be included in the buyout program,” Metro Water Services Director Scott Potter said in a written statement. “We selected the homes that are most at risk of being substantially damaged in a future flood and would be the most difficult to rebuild based on the requirements of our stormwater code.”

Substantially damaged properties must be rebuilt to meet current stormwater code, which requires the first floor of a property to be located at least 4 feet above the 100-year flood level.

“Some of the properties we’ve identified for this buyout program would have to be elevated by 30 feet if they were to be rebuilt,” Potter said. “The buyout program gives these homeowners the opportunity to sell their property at its pre-flood value and relocate to a safer area.”

Community meetings have been scheduled to provide eligible homeowners an opportunity to learn more about the buyout program. Meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. next week at four locations:

•W.A. Bass Middle School
5200 Delaware Ave.
Monday, June 28

•Isaiah T. Creswell Middle Arts Magnet School
3500 John Mallette Drive
Tuesday, June 29

•Dupont Tyler Middle School
431 Tyler Drive
Wednesday, June 30

•Apollo Middle School
631 Richards Road
Thursday, July 1