City Buying Back Homes to Help Flood Victims
Posted at: 12/21/2012 11:06 AM
| Updated at: 12/21/2012 11:17 PM
By: Dayna Landgrebe
The city of Duluth is continuing to look for ways to help flood victims. That now includes a major buy back of damaged homes, taking them off the hands of some homeowners.
June's floods have had the city working in multiple ways to continue helping victims. On Friday, Duluth Mayor Don Ness another effort has come through-- an application for $1,097,000 was approved, buying 10 properties back from flood victims.
One of the homeowners, Theresa Bunnell of Lincoln Park, called Friday's news, "the best Christmas present ever." Bunnell feared she'd have to continue making mortgage payments on an uninhabitable home, while also paying rent at a new location.
The city submitted the paperwork in October on the behalf of homeowners who live outside the floodplain. Because of that, those residents are not eligible FEMA assistance. The soon-to-be-aquired homes are scattered across Duluth.
"Today's news means several homeowners can breathe a slight sigh of relief this holiday season knowing they have the option of letting the City acquire their home," Ness said.
City of Duluth Community Relations Officer Daniel Fanning said the city will sign the grant agreement in January with hopes to make the final acquisition by March. Demolition could begin as soon as this spring.
Fanning added that the city will use the space for park and green space.
The money is coming from Minnesota's DNR, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Ness said in a news release that the city is grateful for the funding and support from the state.
"There is still much more recovery work to be done and several residents still in need of assistance, but today's news is a very positive step for several Duluth residents looking to rebuild their lives," he said.