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Hawaii News

Homeowners hit by eruption offered property buyouts

HILO >> Big Island residents whose homes were destroyed by the 2018 eruption of the Kilauea volcano will get an opportunity to sell the properties through a federally funded recovery program.

Hawaii County’s Voluntary Housing Buyout Program plan was submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

The plan said 612 homes were destroyed during the eruption, including 294 primary residences.

The program could result in $83 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funding, including $78 million for the county to purchase property that was destroyed, isolated or damaged.

Disaster Recovery Officer Douglas Le said the program, which is anticipated to begin in April, will prioritize households with low to moderate incomes and properties that were primary residences.

The program is expected to begin with offers for documented primary residences, then secondary residences and then undeveloped residential parcels.

Condominiums, recreational vehicles and campers used as residences will not be eligible for compensation.

Prices will be determined by 2017 property assessments, while no individual buyout will be above $230,000, which is the median appraised market value of properties in the region at the time.

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