Montgomery County commissioners accepted a $13.77 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on April 23 to complete roughly 29 home buyouts across Montgomery County.

Two-minute impact

The county originally applied for the funding in 2021 following the effects of Hurricane Ida on the region. However, the funding did not become available for approval until late 2023, and the requirements to accept the funding were completed earlier this year.

Under the funding agreement, homeowners will be required to cover the local share of buyouts if they have requested one, according to discussion at the April 23 meeting. The current funding split includes:
  • Federal share: $12.99 million
  • Homeowner share: $782,790
The homeowner share will be divided between homeowners based on the cost of demolition and buyout processes.

Jason Millsaps, executive director of the Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said the county hopes to purchase 29 homes with the funding, with the majority of buyouts within precincts 3 and 4.

Why it matters

The county’s buyout process has been going on since 2016, and it has purchased nearly 100 homes from residents impacted by major flooding events, according to previous Community Impact reporting. Homes that have been purchased through the county’s buyout program have ranged from $60,000-$750,000 in price, according to MCOHSEM.

What else?

The county is also seeking to revise the process behind mass gathering permits following guidance from state agencies regarding "streamlining" the process, Millsaps said. The goal is to move all permits through the county’s Fire Marshal’s office prior to any other approvals in order to ensure all requirements for a mass gathering are in place.