State to accept Greinwich Terrace zone buyout applications

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The state is accepting buyout applications from Greinwich Terrace property owners and residents in the designated Priority 1 zone of the Lake Charles neighborhood, which has flooded three times in the past four years.

The Priority 1 application period ends Oct. 27.

As participation in the program ramps up and eligibility is determined, the state will expand the buyout program into the Priority 2 and 3 zones, as funding allows.

“Offering buyout options in these flood-prone areas is a key component of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative’s mission to improve the natural flow of water,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This not only protects residents’ lives and property, it allows the developed land to be returned to the floodplain where water can be absorbed, which can enhance community resilience.”

The $30 million voluntary residential buyout program in Greinwich Terrace is part of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative’s efforts to reduce flood risk statewide by purchasing flood-prone properties, returning them to their natural states and relocating residents to safer areas. Funded by federal mitigation dollars, the program benefits low- to moderate-income residents.

“This program offers some much-needed assistance to residents who have suffered tremendously in recent years,” Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said. “The city will continue to advocate to make sure that residents receive a fair and equitable outcome. The connection to one’s home and property is a very personal and emotional one. If administered with care, this program can be a door opening to new opportunities. Every citizen deserves to have safe, secure housing, and this program is a step toward meeting that need.”

Using flood maps and modeling data, in collaboration with Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish officials, the state designated Priority 1 as the northeast corner of the Greinwich Terrace neighborhood. This includes homes along or near E. General Wainwright Drive and General Buckner Street, as well as homes on the east side of General Moore Avenue.

“Our neighbors in Greinwich Terrace have experienced ongoing flooding and disruption to their lives over the past few years,” Brian Abshire, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury president said. “This program offers them the opportunity to relocate their families to safer areas, while helping reduce flood risk for the wider community. We are pleased to work with the Louisiana Watershed Initiative and Greinwich Terrace to support this program and create a more resilient parish.”

Greinwich Terrace property owners and residents can ask questions about the program and priority zones by contacting a buyout program representative at 866-735-2001 or emailing watershed@la.gov.

For more information about the Statewide Buyout Program, click https://www.watershed.la.gov/buyouts.