Sell flood-prone home to the city? One Fort Worth man says yes

Flood buyouts divide Fort Worth neighbors

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The "for rent" sign that stands in the front yard of Andrew Yanez's Fort Worth rental property is, at this point, really more of a formality than anything.

"The last tenant moved out because of the flooding," Yanez said. "Currently, I've had three people rescind offers to lease the property based on my disclosure of potential flooding."

It's flooding, Yanez says, that's gotten progressively stronger over the years. He showed News 8 video he took in June, when flash floods hurled down his street in the Arlington Heights neighborhood and pummeled the rental home he's owned since 2005.

This time, he says the flooding damage was so bad, the City of Fort Worth condemned the garage apartment behind the home. With his permission, they then tore it down.

"This is a nightmare," Yanez said. "This is an absolute nightmare."

But it may be over for him soon.

City Council will soon consider a plan where they would purchase, and then demolish, historically flood-prone homes in this area near Interstate 30 and Hulen from willing homeowners only.

City Council member Dennis Shingleton had previously said at least 30 homes might be eligible. The plan then would be to turn the lots into city-maintained green spaces, so water could flow without hurting homes or people.

"It's been described as taking teeth out of a mouth, so you have vacant lots here, there, there," said John Morris, who's on the neighborhood association board. He is opposed to the proposal, and fears — among other things — it would compromise the neighborhood's aesthetic integrity.

"They should enhance the neighborhood rather than start tearing it down," Morris said.

Yanez knows it might not be the popular perspective, but "at this point, I'm ready to let the city take the property," he said.

He believes others feel the same way.

"They just don’t want their neighbors to know," he said.

It’s a tough spot to be in — literally and figuratively — in this part of Cowtown.

Shingleton says City Council will decide Nov. 15 whether to apply for FEMA grants that would provide them money to offer to buy homes.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment