Ask the editor: How are home buyouts conducted?

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A major part of the efforts in Harris County to reduce flooding involves voluntary home buyouts—when the county purchases property that is prone to flooding, removes all buildings and turns it into open space.

Of the 4,000 property owners in Harris County who have volunteered for buyouts since Hurricane Harvey hit in August 2017, 1,100 of them have been approved at an estimated cost of $317 million. A total of 200 properties have been purchased as of February. Additional buyouts are likely to be approved as more funding becomes available through federal grants.

Since there are more volunteers than funding, Harris County Flood Control District officials have to be selective in determining which homes should be bought out. Several factors are taken into account, with areas that are deeper inside flood plains getting higher priority. Buyouts are also considered if flooding cannot be addressed through other means, such as drainage improvements.

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Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.
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