Council OKs $11.5 million buyout of condominium sophisticated to enhance flood security in Westbury

Rick Magliano

Metropolis council on Wednesday agreed to invest $11.5 million to order a flood-prone apartment complex in southwest Houston and use the land for stormwater detention, its largest use of federal buyout funds to date.

Council unanimously permitted the obtain of the Spring Village Flats adjacent to the Willow Waterhole Bayou in Westbury. The town ideas to change the 6.5 acres of land to “a use that is appropriate with open house, leisure, or floodplain and wetlands management techniques,” according to the ask for for council action.


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Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum, whose District K includes the community, mentioned it will supply considerably-required aid to the area.

“This is 1 of the tasks we have been operating diligently with the Housing Section on to prevent flooding in Westbury,” Castex-Tatum mentioned. “The houses that will advantage from the detention in this region are the homes that have flooded at least 10 times. This condominium complex has flooded at the very least six situations.”

Ray Miller, assistant director of the Housing Section, reported the metropolis hopes to shut on the residence early following year. The selling price tag features relocation expenditures for some 130 households dwelling in the apartment.

The buyout approach is a two-pronged technique, Miller stated: the Housing Department will get households out of flood-inclined attributes, and General public Will work works by using the land to hold more water all through key storms.

Buyouts have been a key approach to avert flooding in Houston and Harris County. The county, which is geared up with a $2.5 billion bond bundle authorized by voters two a long time in the past, has much additional revenue to go after buyouts than the metropolis, which relies on federal support. Harris County has acquired far more than 560 flooded properties due to the fact Harvey.

Funding for the city’s buy Wednesday stemmed from the Tax Day flood in 2016. The U.S. Section of Housing and City Advancement gave the metropolis $23.4 million in restoration grants after that storm, and the city has devoted the funds completely to acquiring out multifamily complexes.

The metropolis formerly utilized about $1 million of the 2016 buyout resources for a large amount on nearby Fondren Highway that was previous household to the Boardwalk Residences, which ended up demolished following flooding in Hurricane Harvey, according to Miller. The city also designs to make a detention basin in the community near Fondren and West Bellfort, a challenge funded by 2015 disaster cash.

Houston has reserved $40.8 million of its $1.3 billion in housing grants from Hurricane Harvey for buyouts, as perfectly. Miller explained the Housing Section hopes to carry the first Harvey-flooded property slated for a buyout to council in the next several weeks.

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