Home-buying Program for Flood Victims

By: Max Seigle
By: Max Seigle

Right now, Bill Wagaman's 13th Street home is filled with donated furniature, sitting on plywood flooring. It's all because of August's flooding that dumped more than a foot of water in his living room and even more in the basement where stairways walls were knocked out. "There is just no way that we didn't sustain more than 50 percent damage in this house," Wagaman said. But Wagaman received a letter from the city, saying his home didn't suffer that much damage, and as result, he can't take part in the homebuyout program. A program he would eagerly take. "in a heartbeat, I have told there different alderman," Wagaman said. So far the city has identified about 130 homes for the buy-out program. Most of them....in the city's Churchill Park neighborhood that took the brunt of August's flooding. 51 percent damage is the benchmark for assistance in this program, which aims to acquire for flood mitigation efforts. "If we going to fix the problem and not put a bandaid on it. This has to be one of the solutions to fix the problem," said Rockford Alderman Frank Beach. As far as the qualifications go, Beach says there are other options for flood victims who don't meet the criteria for the home buyout program. "They still have until October 29th to register from FEMA," Beach said. Flood victims, like Wagaman, have gone after some of that assistance. But he wants the city to take another look at his home and he's not giving up without a fight. "I'm going to send back a letter saying all the points that I think we do qualify," Wagaman said. A flood victim determined to get his share of help so he doens't have to deal with his mess all over again. The city hasn't signed off yet on those 130 homes yet. But they've sent residents appraisal requests to gauge interest in this program.

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