FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Marion County Homeland Security and Emergency Management team is offering to buy homes in the county.
As part of the team’s ongoing “Hazard Mitigation Grant Program,” residents in flood zones can have their homes bought from them so they can move to higher ground.
“A lot of people get repetitive flood loss, and they really have no way out other than this program because they’re stuck in that house,” said Chris McIntire, director of Marion County Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “They can’t sell it because no one else wants to buy it because it’s in a floodplain, and they have to have the insurance for it, so this gives them a fresh start.”
The county has received grants for this program four times and previously used the funds to purchase several homes at market value in Manning, Worthington and Pleasant Valley, according to McIntire. The program offers a way for residents to escape the frustrations of flooding and allows the county to acquire property to turn into parks or gardens.
“Wonderful program if you’re stuck in a flood zone and can’t sell your house to the public and have a government program come in and say, ‘we will help you’. It works real well. It’s been successful, and we have another opportunity now with additional money coming in to continue to help the people who get flooded all the time,” said Marion County Commissioner, Randy Elliott.
After acquiring the land, the county allows neighbors to lease the space if they choose, but nothing can be built on them. The land also cannot be sold again by the county.
The grant funds are provided by FEMA to the Marion County Homeland Security and Emergency Management team.
Homes must be in the 100-year floodplain area to be considered, but the process is voluntary. Marion County residents can check if they are in the floodplains here. Applications must be sent to the Marion County Homeland Security and Emergency Management team by May 1.