Voluntary Home Buyout Program

Program Background

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity allocated $75 Million of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds to the Voluntary Home Buyout Program.  These funds will allow Monroe County to purchase the property and the home of voluntary sellers who were impacted by Hurricane Irma. The government may purchase these at pre-Hurricane Irma fair market value. The home will be demolished and the land will serve as green space in perpetuity. If deemed necessary, the land may also be used for stormwater drainage or recreational purposes. The homeowner may decline to sell his/her home at any point prior to the closing.

The deadline for application for Monroe County’s Voluntary Home Buyout Program closed Sept. 23, 2019. If the program reopens, those who filled out an application after the closing date will be notified if future programs are made available.

Properties will be prioritized by the most vulnerable populations located in low- and moderate-income areas, and those at highest risk for future flooding. In addition to the State required criteria that prioritized vulnerable populations, Monroe County submitted a proposed risk-based local point prioritization system which was approved by the Board of County Commissioners.  

“This is so meaningful to Monroe County recovery,” said Christine Hurley, Assistant Monroe County Administrator. “This is the beginning of changing the face of the Florida Keys by eliminating high-risk properties and recreating a resilient community.”

This program, if used in conjunction with the County’s sustainability infrastructure rebuilding program, will allow the County to approach a “managed retreat” to build a stronger community.

In order to implement the VHBP, Monroe County will seek the technical expertise and staff augmentation of experienced vendor services in the areas of administrative support, survey, appraisals, legal and closings, environmental assessments, historical assessments and demolition services.

Following is an estimated timeline for program implementation:

Timeline for Implementation Graphic

Subapplicant Agreement Executed

On May 20, 2020 the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners executed the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Voluntary Home Buyout Program subapplicant agreement with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The agreement may be viewed here.

Seeking Vendor Services

In order to implement the program, Monroe County will be releasing a series of Requests for Proposals seeking vendor expertise in the following areas:

We encourage all interested vendors to monitor DemandStar for further releases.

Citizen Participation Plan

Citizen Complaint Policy for Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery and Mitigation Programs

Citizens are encouraged to submit their views and proposals on all aspects of a Community Development Block Grant Programs (CDBG) at the public hearings when funds are requested and approved by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners. Citizens may, at any time, submit written comments or complaints to Monroe County to the contact listed below.  Local officials shall make every effort to provide written responses to citizen proposals or complaints within fifteen (15) working days of the receipt of such comments or complaints where practicable. Should, after a reasonable period, a party believes that his/her comment or complaint has not been properly addressed or considered, then the aggrieved may appeal his/her case to Monroe County Board of County Commissioners at any regularly scheduled public meeting.

Should Monroe County be unable to sufficiently resolve an objection or complaint, it may be forwarded by the aggrieved party to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) at the contact listed below.  The state will make every effort to provide a timely written response within 15 working days of the receipt of the complaint, where practicable. The aim of the state will be to always attempt to resolve complaints in a manner that is both sensitive to the complainant’s concerns and achieves a fair result.

Citizens may, at any time, contact the DEO and/or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development directly to register comments, objections or complaints concerning Monroe County CDBG application(s) and/or program(s). Citizens are encouraged, however, to attempt to resolve any complaints at the local level as outlined above prior to contacting the DEO or HUD.

All comments or complaints may be submitted to the following:

Monroe County Voluntary Home Buyout Program

Email: Buyouts@monroecounty-fl.gov

                        2798 Overseas Highway

                        Marathon, Florida 33040

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Rebuild Florida Constituent Services

Rebuild Florida Program

107 E. Madison Street

Caldwell Building, MSC 160

Tallahassee, Florida 32399            

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Community Planning and Development Division

Atlanta Regional Office

Five Points Plaza Building

40 Marietta Street

Atlanta, Fa 30303-2806

Records of all comments, objections and/or complaints by citizens concerning the Monroe County CDBG programs and subsequent action taken in response to those comments will be maintained on file at Monroe County and shall be made available for public inspection upon request.

Complaint files will include the following:

  1. The name of the person who filed the complaint;
  2. The date the complaint was received;
  3. A description of the complaint;
  4. The name of each person contacted in relation to the complaint;
  5. A summary of the results of the review or investigation of the complaint; and
  6. An explanation of the resolution (e.g., the reason the file was closed).

On May 20, 2020, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners approved the Citizen Complaint Procedure. 

More Information

Interested homeowners can find more information and the application at the DEO website. The DEO application period is closed. Additional questions can be directed to rebuildflorida@deo.myflorida.com.

Mailbox damage from Hurricane Irma

Public Meeting: Voluntary Home Buyout Program

On July 22, 2019, Monroe County held a public meeting regarding the Voluntary Home Buyout Program. To view the hearing, click Video on Demand

Designated Citizen Participation Coordinators

Monroe County: