• Clay County Hurricane Irma Voluntary buyout program taking applications

    By: Ryan Nelson , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    The Clay County Emergency Management District is working with the State of Florida to purchase properties in high-risk flood areas.

    The homes on the properties will be demolished, and the property will be converted to a green space. 

    The idea is to reduce the impact of future disasters and help those looking for a way out of their damaged properties to get back on their feet. 

    Eligibility requirements:

    • The property must be owner occupied, not tenant occupied. 
    • According to the county, the property owner needs to meet low- and moderate-income requirements for Clay County, be in an area that is predominantly low to moderate income or have an urgent need. 
    • Urgent need is considered a serious and immediate threat to public health and safety. They say priority will be given to those meeting low to moderate income requirements. 
    • The county tells us priority will also be given to those who did not have flood insurance, but those who did can still apply. 

    County officials also tell us the property should be located inside of a designated flood area. 

    If the property is located outside of a designated flood area, the home will need to be substantially damaged (51% or more of the pre-Hurricane Irma fair market value of the structure is damaged), considered a health risk, or in a floodway, to qualify.  

    Properties that have received rehabilitation or repairs through the DEO Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement program will not be eligible.


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    Process: 

    • The homeowner will first apply by submitting the Voluntary Participation Form. The county will then review the application to make sure the applicant meets the requirements. 
    • Once the application is approved by the state, the county will appraise the property, determine which assistance if any has been provided to the homeowner to-date. 
    • If assistance has been provided that would duplicate the benefits, the homeowner would be offered the appraisal amounts, minus the amount of assistance received from other programs. 
    • Homeowners will then receive an offer. 

    Important dates: 

    • July 22  – Preliminary application process begins for homeowners 
    • Aug. 14 – Deadline for applicants to submit a preliminary application 
    • Aug. 15 – Deadline for County to submit to DEO for funding for Buyout program 
    • Mid-November – Anticipated time period for Clay County to sign agreement to with DEO for funding 
    • Late November/early December through January 2021 – Application for process proceeds for homeowners including (but not limited to): 
    • Final eligibility review 
    • Appraisals and title check 
    • Environmental check 
    • Duplication of benefits review 
    • Notice of relocation offer 
    • Relocation payment to applicant 
    • Application closeout 

    Fore more information, contact the Clay County Flood Hotline at 904-529-2794 or email Irma-Grants@ClayCountyGov.com. 

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