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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois
 

Voluntary Flood-Prone Property Buyout Program

Eligibility

The Voluntary Buyout Program is a countywide program in which structures not protected by capital improvements projects in approved watershed plans may be eligible for buyout by DuPage County. A structure may be eligible if it is subject to flooding depth of one foot above the low entry elevation for any one historic event; subject to a flooding depth of one-half foot for any two historic flood events, or a FEMA repetitive loss structure. Historically, the County has purchased eligible structures on a first come basis, depending on the availability of funds. This is strictly a voluntary program.

Overview

From 1991 to 2001, DuPage County purchased more than 40 homes through the Voluntary Buyout Program. In 2001, the County and FEMA completed acquisition of an additional 49 flood-prone homes in the Valley View subdivision along the East Branch DuPage River. Through Stormwater Management’s watershed planning process, the County has identified more than 175 remaining homes meeting the criteria for voluntary buyout not protected by recommended flood control projects. In 2011, FEMA reported an additional 87 repetitive loss structures in DuPage County.  

Status

In recent years, the Voluntary Buyout Program has had little funding, prompting Stormwater Management staff to actively seek funding from State and Federal sources. Due to severe flooding in DuPage County in 2008 and 2010, Stormwater Management submitted applications for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). Such funds allow the County to purchase structures damaged during these historic storm events. In 2011, the IEMA awarded DuPage County $1.25 million in HMGP funds to purchase five homes damaged in the 2008 storm. Notification of funding for the 2010 storm event is still pending.

The Stormwater Management Committee and County Board approved DuPage County Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (Plan) in 2007. The Plan is a multi-hazard mitigation plan addressing natural hazards such as floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, thunderstorms and winter and ice storms. The Plan meets the required criteria to enable DuPage County and interested municipalities to qualify for mitigation funds under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The County and municipalities who opt to adopt the plan can also receive credit under the Community Rating System (CRS), which may lower flood insurance premium rates for residential and business structures within each qualifying community. The DuPage County Natural Hazards Mitigation Workgroup prepared the Plan. The Workgroup’s members included representatives from County departments, municipalities, agencies and institutions.