Volunteer for a Home Buyout

Volunteer for a Home Buyout

The Flood Control District’s Home Buyout Program does not provide immediate flood recovery assistance – its primary function is to help prevent future flood damages. 

For the most immediate assistance regarding the Flood Control District’s Home Buyout Program, please complete and submit a Notice of Voluntary Interest form.

Our Property Acquisition Department is working diligently to consider each Notice of Voluntary Interest submitted, and submittal of your interest through the online form is the most proactive step you can take as a homeowner at this time. Submitting this form does not obligate you to sell or the Flood Control District to purchase your home.

It is important to note that, although some grant funds are made available after a disaster declaration, these buyout grants do not provide immediate flood recovery assistance. These programs typically take eight to twelve months after the flood event to even get started, and then may take place over a period of many years following a flood event. Buyouts are intended to prevent future flood damages.



For a property to meet the Flood Control District’s eligibility requirements, it must be beneficial to the Flood Control District’s mission. To that end, the Flood Control District will consider the following factors in its evaluation of the property: 

  1. Source of flooding. The Flood Control District’s jurisdiction includes Harris County bayous, creeks and smaller waterways that feed into the bayou system (riverine flooding). Flooding from roadside ditches, ponding, and overland sheet flow typically fall outside of the Flood Control District’s jurisdiction. 

  2. Location and depth within the floodplain. The property must be located deep within a mapped floodplain and subject to repetitive flooding. As such, structures located closest to bayous and creeks are typically ideal. 

  3. Cost effectiveness as a solution to the property’s flooding problem. In shallow floodplains other types of flood reduction projects, such as detention basins or channel modifications may be more beneficial. Buyouts are ideal for structures hopelessly deep in the floodplain. 

  4. Potential for future floodplain preservation and/or flood damage reduction projects. The property must be strategically located for potential or future flood damage reduction projects and/or floodplain preservation. 

  5. Compatibility with community and natural values. Community support for buyout is important. Alternatives may need to be considered if the community is opposed.


To qualify for grants through FEMA, the following eligibility requirements apply: 

  1. The property must be located in a community that participates and is in good standing in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and has a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Action Plan. 

  2. The property’s purchase must be cost beneficial. A property is considered cost beneficial if the cost of acquiring and demolishing the property is less than the cost of the estimated future flood damages to the property. 

  3. The property must have a current flood insurance policy to meet the requirements for certain types of FEMA grants, such as the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program.