Homeowners have long way to go from application to buyout approval

Applying for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s home buyout program is a long, complicated and complex process.

Richard Verville, of the state’s homeland security bureau, said every year thousands of applications for aid are sent to eight independent review panels in Washington, D.C.

The panels issue each application a numeric rating, based upon all of the disaster information provided. Paperwork then goes on for further technical reviews and cost calculations, he said.

The review process for all applications takes two to three weeks. Those with the highest numeric ratings are issued relief, he said.

In past years, $100 million had been available nationally in a competitive pool, Verville said. This year, because of congressional cutbacks, only $37 million was up for grabs