City of Neosho applying for grant to buy homes in flood plain

Buyouts, other options may be available

Gordon Cunningham, Neosho Resident: “It was pretty bad in 2017. People had water in their house that was four foot deep.”

Gordon Cunningham says before that flood in 20-17 flooding hadn’t been an issue for him for forty-five years.

Cunningham: “And about a month and a half ago, we had another flood.”

Residents along Stratford Place say flooding wreaked havoc and some still haven’t fully recovered.

Rachel Holcomb, Economic Development Dir., City of Neosho: “This grant would be to help those people get out of those homes.”

HUD has made approximately 58 million dollars available for grant funding to address unmet housing needs in five zip codes impacted in 20-17.

One of which is Neosho.

The grant would allow the city to do a few different things for residents.

Those would include a full buy-out of homes in four designated areas in the flood plain, so home-owners can find a new house, and relocation assistance so tenants can find a new place to live.

The city has partnered with the Harry S. Truman Coordinated Council to help with the process.

Jill Cornett, Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council: “The goal is to make sure that people who remained in their units are safe, and if they are not safe, don’t feel safe or their property has repetitive events that are continuing, let’s get them out of the flood zone and into a newer cleaner safer house.”

In May, the city sent surveys to more than 400 residents to see who would be interested in making a change.

Holcomb: “We did receive ninety two back. Out of those ninety two, around sixty or a little over want to participate in the buy out, and I think it was fifty would like to participate in the relocation program. “

The city is still accepting surveys from the four zones, and plant to hold a public meeting in the near future to hear from them first hand.

Holcomb: “In the long run this is gonna have a positive impact on the community. This is not a mandatory process, this is a voluntary process. And nobody’s going to be kicked out of their homes.”

But so far, many residents are on the fence.

Cunningham: “I think it’s a pretty good deal. Whether I’ll take it or not.. we’ll see when the time comes.”

The other four zip codes in the state are in Stone, Taney, Howell, Carter and Ripley Counties.

If you live in the impacted area and want to fill out a survey, follow this link.

If you want to learn more about the grant through HUD, follow this link.

Maps of the four areas can be found below.


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