The city has bought and torn down rebuilt houses for nearly five years. I’ve investigated this myself since 2011! The only answers I’ve ever been given for this is that the “owners applied for the buyout” and that it is for the “city’s preferred flood plan“. Just because the city has a plan doesn’t mean that it has to make sense.
Chris Earl’s investigative report generated more questions than answers for me.
Is it only newsworthy if a Mathew 25 aka Block by Block house is rebuilt and demolished? How many other rebuilt houses were bought by the city with our tax dollars to be torn down? I know of two other properties that were rebuilt, occupied, bought by the city and torn down. They weren’t houses that Block by Block rebuilt but it was only a matter of time before they went after Block by Block houses. The houses that were rebuilt, occupied, and sold to the city by landlords never made the news! The question I have is why did they sell out? Were they offered an incentive? Did they sell out because they’d never be able to get that kind of return on the market? 107% isn’t a bad deal is it? I don’t blame the landlords for wanting to sell out, especially if there was an incentive.
Chris Earl does a fair job in his reporting but I wish that the report would have focused more on the city taking federal money to tear down rebuilt houses than Mathew 25. I am more interested in the people who lived in those rebuilt homes. Where are they now? Were they given money to move? Are they happy? Would they have stayed if they were given a chance to purchase the house? Couldn’t these houses could have been sold through the cities “Roots Program“.
The city has done a lot of negotiating with the federal government to get their money to tear down rebuilt houses but when it comes to anyone in the city trying to save a rebuilt house from demolition there is no negotiating with the city. Once the city agrees to take that federal money the laws dictate that the house must be demolished. After 1100 homes have gone to the landfill you would think that the city would be satisfied but they’re not. The will continue to take our tax money to demolish rebuilt homes until they are stopped! Who will stop them?