Tulsa County approves voluntary flood buyout program
Source: Tulsa County
Tulsa Board of County Commissioners approved the voluntary buy-out plan for homes affected by the 2019 flood at their meeting on Monday, March 13.
Due to the extensive damage to housing and infrastructure, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the State of Oklahoma was eligible to receive disaster recovery funds to address long-term recovery needs, particularly for housing recovery that focuses on low and moderate-income beneficiaries.
The Voluntary Buyout Program (VBP) is intended to help eligible Tulsa County residents relocate from the 100-year floodplain, floodway, or Disaster Risk Reduction Areas (DRRA).
The goal of this program is to voluntarily buyout such properties and convert them to open space, green space, recreational grounds, or floodplain management areas. Tulsa County, in partnership with Meshek & Associates, are managing this Voluntary Buyout Program.
Five public meetings took place near flood prone areas of Tulsa County and applications from homeowners were solicited and gathered through last April. The application-gathering process estimated the need at $14,750,000. Tulsa County applied to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) and on December 6, 2022, received a letter awarding the full amount of the request.
“We are really hoping to move forward quickly with this program,” said Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency (TAEMA) Director Joe Kralicek. “We had 174 residents submit applications. The funding we received will be enough to purchase 50 to 60 of those homes. Buyout could possibly begin within the next 90 days.”
Within the Voluntary Buyout Target Areas, the following priorities will be used in approving applications:
1. Low-to-moderate-income owner-occupied households located within the 100-year floodplain;
2. Tenant occupied but owned by low-to-moderate-income owner located within the 100-year floodplain;
3. Low-to-moderate-income owned, either owner-occupied or tenant-occupied, located within the Disaster Risk Reduction Area (500-year floodplain);
4. Urgent Need (over-income) owned, either owner-occupied or tenant-occupied, located within the 100-year floodplain;
5. Urgent Need (over-income) owned, either owner-occupied or tenant-occupied, located within the Disaster Risk Reduction Area (500-year floodplain);
6. Pre-disaster vacant land.
To view the Voluntary Flood Buyout Program Guidelines or to fill out an application, visit www.tulsacounty.org. Paper applications are also available at the Bixby, Collinsville, Sand Springs, Skiatook, and Sperry City Halls, along with the Case Community Center, Turley Fire Department, and the County Clerk’s office. For additional assistance, call TAEMA at 918-596-9899.