Program Launched to Buy 2018 Eruption-Damaged Homes

A new program that will help property owners affected by the 2018 volcanic eruption can apply to buy back their land starting next week. It will address properties that were using as primary residence during the eruption. On April 30th, the program will begin accepting applications. In fact, This program is funding by $84 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants. The grants are using to purchase eruption-damaged land for up to $230,000.

Program Helps Property Owners

They were on the Big Island and affected by the 2018 Kilauea volcanic eruption and Hawaii County has said the first phase of its Kilauea Disaster Recovery Voluntary Housing Buyout Program addresses the inherent issues they now face.

“Moreover, the 2018 eruption has, in fact, upended the lives of lower Puna residents. They have lost a home and are still needing help with finding the essential secure, permanent housing. It is a federal funding program. It will help them get back on their feet and address a pressing need following the disaster while reduces the risks from the future eruption,” said Douglas Le, a disaster recovery officer.

Funding for Recovery Projects

In March, the Hawaii County Council unanimously voted to provide funding for recovery projects. In fact, about $78 million will be used for the voluntary housing buyout program. Then another $1.6 million will go toward a program to help qualified residents who were displaced by the eruption, therefore, find permanent housing. Thus remaining $4 million, will, in fact, cover administrative expenses.

“The importance of these programs is to help Puna residents that were displacing by the eruption help secure stable housing and then recover financially,” Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth said in a statement last month.

About 300 applications in the first phase, Le said he expects the recovery team will get. Of the homes destroyed, 294 of the 612, during the eruption were the main residencies in Hawaii Island’s Puna district.

Another Phase of the Program Upcoming

From November 1st through January 31, 200, the owners of secondary residences will be able to apply for the program fund in the second phase. Beginning May 2, 2022, is when the third phase will take place. The owners of undeveloped properties can apply through July 29, 2022.

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