Hawai‘i County’s Kīlauea eruption recovery team is pursuing a voluntary buyout program for residents affected by the 2018 eruption.
Property acquisition, or "buyout," programs have been developed around the country following other natural disasters, such as floods and fires. The program would be a means to assist residents with inundated or affected properties who wish to relocate away from the disaster area and to reduce risks from future eruptions on Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone.
Through 2020, the County will be developing the program and seeking the appropriation of funding.
Funding sources include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program, which is providing the County $83.84 million.
Eligibility and Payment
Eligibility would be determined through the planning process.
The County anticipates basing buyout offers on 2018 pre-eruption values of land and homes. Primary residential properties, including those in inundated and isolated areas, would likely be prioritized.
Deductions may be made for insurance payouts or other forms of assistance to avoid duplication of benefits and meet HUD requirements. Opportunities for individuals to apply will be publicized when the process is established.
Properties acquired through this program would be managed as open space or for recreation to create a public benefit while reducing risk. Possibilities include hiking trails, cultural use, access to natural resources, and other passive uses.
- Determine housing needs and interest in buyouts.
- Develop CDBG-DR Action Plan and get approval from County Housing Agency; submit Action Plan to HUD by June 2.
- Reach Grant Agreement and Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting Plan with HUD to receive funds.
- Conduct environmental assessment.
- Set criteria for purchase, including value, and eligibility.
- Develop plan for acquired properties with public consultation.
For more information, visit HUD's Buyout Program page here.
A webinar on buyout best practices can be viewed here.