DENHAM SPRINGS – The first 10 Denham Springs homeowners to seek help from the federal Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program have had their applications sent on their way.

The Denham Springs City Council approved an application Tuesday for $1,636,118.45, which will buy and raze two homes and elevate eight others.

The two acquisitions are homes on Centerville Street and South River Road.

The eight homes seeking elevation include three on Benton Lane and single homes on Kline Street, Williams Street, Carol Sue, Oakwood Drive and North River Road.

“We don’t determine who qualifies,” Mayor Gerard Landry said. “We help people with their applications.”

There also is no cost to the city, he added, except for the time spent by building official Rick Foster and community recovery coordinator Jeanette Clark to help the applicants.

“If we have any costs, since this is flood related, FEMA will reimburse,” Landry said.

The FMA program is funded on an annual basis, so Denham Springs and its residents can “revisit” the program yearly and apply for help, he said.

The program is funded by the National Flood Insurance Fund (NFIF) and administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The goal is to fund activities that reduce or eliminate flood insurance claims, according to an information sheet at the council meeting.

A homeowner can apply to have FEMA buy their home and property and move. FEMA would demolish the home and the property becomes green space; nothing would be built on the site since it has the chance to flood again.

A homeowner also could have their home raised to meet the base flood elevation level for their area.

FEMA looks at each application and determines if a home qualifies to be bought or elevated.

A house may fall into one of three categories: severe repetitive loss, repetitive loss and non-severe repetitive loss. These will determine how much FEMA will pay to elevate or acquire the house.

--Severe repetitive loss: FEMA pays 100 percent.

--Repetitive loss: FEMA pays 90 percent; the homeowner pays 10 percent.

--Non-severe repetitive loss: FEMA pays 75 percent; the homeowner pays 25 percent.

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