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Flood Damage Reduction Project to require destruction of more than 400 homes

One year ago, between June 5 and 9, Houston was hit by a devastating Tropical Storm that flooded much of the city and caused an estimated $5 billion in damage.

North and northeast Houston were among the hardest hit, due to downstream flooding along both Halls and Greens Bayous.

Six months ago, The Harris County Flood Control District, under the direction of the Commissioners Court, begin a project to control or at least minimize the effect of an Allison type weather event in the future.

The Halls Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project will encompass a number of aspects, including the construction of two detention basins or ponds to be located along Halls Bayou directly east and west of US 59.

Unfortunately, the construction of these basins will require the acquisition and destruction of approximately 130 homes in Bretshire Place and Lakewood Estates (west of US 59) and 270 in Halls Park and Farrington Place (east of US 59).

On May 23rd and 29th, the District held meetings with the residents and property owners in the affected neighborhoods. During those meetings, the process of acquisition, appraisal, and negotiation was explained as well as the kinds and amounts of assistance that will be made available to help residents relocate.

The first step will be a meeting with an independent appraiser who will (within 45 days) send a written report to the District appraising the market value of the property. The District will then make an offer to buy through a real estate agent assigned to that property.

If the offer is accepted, the agent will prepare a deed and closing will take place in approximately 6 weeks.

If the offer is not accepted, the property owner has the right to contest.

At that time a Civil Court Judge will set a date for a hearing (in about 4 months). He will appoint 3 disinterested parties to hear both the District’s and the property owner’s evidence. The panel will then decide what an appropriate price will be.
Property owners who have lived in their homes more than 180 days will be entitled to both relocation benefits of up to $22,500 to help them purchase an equivalent home and moving cost expenses of up to $5,250. Renters and property owners who have occupied the property at least 90 but less than 180 days will receive up to $5,250 in relocation expenses.

Renters who have been in the home less than 90 days will receive moving expenses only.

Completion of the Reduction Project will require the relocation of a number of residents, many of whom have been in their homes for 50 years or more,
For everyone affected, the next 12 months will be a difficult and challenging time.

However, Flood Control District officials feel that this project will reduce the likelihood of a repeat of last June’s flooding and, in addition, that the relocation of many of these residents will place them in a better position, and in better housing, than they are currently in.

If you live in either of the areas encompassed by the Project and did not attend one of the meetings, or have not received a letter from Tina Williams, Operations Manager, Harris County ROW Section, please call her at 713-355-7750.