Owners of homes destroyed by lava opt for buyback program

HILO — Hawaii Island residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged during a 2018 eruption of the Kilauea volcano are selling their properties to the county.

The first phase of the county’s Voluntary Housing Buyout Program saw 284 applicants out of 294 eligible residences identified by the program, Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

The county will pay the 2017 value of the property up to $230,000.

No one has received a payout yet and the process for each applicant should take about six months, said Doug Le, Kilauea recovery officer.

The program is funded by $83.8 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grants. An additional $23.7 million in HUD grant funds is pending and will be directed toward the project.


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