North Texas

Arlington Buys Out Flood Damaged Residents

As homeowners across North Texas clean up from flooding caused by record setting rainfall and prepare for the next round, the City of Arlington is looking to buy the homes that have sustained the most damage.

It’s part of the city’s Voluntary Flood Mitigation Buyout Program which targets homes within the city that have been significantly damaged by flood water or those that continue to flood time and time again.

It’s a process that can take up to two years. The city evaluates damage, appraises value and then makes an offer. Homeowners don’t have to accept. But in some cases, they could be forced to make some changes to meet current construction standards if they refuse.

Farhat Khan and her husband were quick to accept an offer on their home on Doty Lane.

“It was really bad. Nobody wants to go through that,” said Khan.

They lived in that home for more than a decade and watched the it fill with water multiple times.

“The house smells. There’s mold underneath the house. Everything is destroyed, and it takes a certain amount of time to come back to your normal life. And then, there’s a scare. Oh, it’s going to rain? It’s going to flood again,” said Khan.

Khan’s home was one of five on Doty Lane the city purchased in the last fiscal year. They’ve now been cleared to return the land to its natural state where floodwaters won’t cause trouble.

Now the city’s looking at doing the same for eight homes damaged in the most recent floods.

“If people rebuild in these locations, especially in the flood plain, we have to ask is it safe to continue to have a house here,” said Interim Assistant Director of Stormwater Amy Cannon.

According to Cannon, those were the most severely damaged of the 200 reports they received in September.

They’re currently under appraisal, then Cannon says they’ll determine whether the budget can handle the purchases.

While the city hopes for grant money, Cannon says there’s a reason they’d be willing to use stormwater utility funds.

“What we’re trying to do is break the cycle and make the community a better place,” said Cannon.

With more rain on the way, it’s possible the city will receive more requests for buyouts from this current flooding event.

Since the program began in 1997, Arlington has purchased and torn-down 100 condo units and more than 300 residential properties.

Contact Us