Home Elevations and Buyouts

The home elevations and buyout program is part of an effort to protect people and property in flood-prone areas of unincorporated King County and the City of Snoqualmie.

Program Types & Eligibility

In general, any structure located in flood-prone area of these locations may be eligible for this program. Structures covered by flood insurance with a history of repetitive flooding and those properties identified as part of a project in the 2006 Flood Hazard Management Plan will be more likely to be given priority. Participation in the home elevations and buyout program is completely voluntary and does not involve any condemnation procedures.

Home Elevation

A home elevation raises the finished floor of a home above the 100-year elevation, substantially reducing the threat of future damage. This allows the residents to remain on the property, and preserves existing local housing. Elevation projects are more appropriate in areas that experience slower moving water.

The Flood District will provide up to 90% of the home elevation cost, while the homeowner funds the remainder of the costs.

Since 2008, the King County Flood Control District has completed 66 home elevations, acquired 215 at-risk properties and 600 acres valued at approximately $66 million.

Home Buyout

A home buyout is the voluntary sale of flood-prone properties and structures to the Flood District. Buyouts are best suited for areas where there is significant flood risk due to fast-moving waters, channel migration, or bank erosion. A buyout provides a permanent solution to the risk and damage of repetitive flooding and significantly reduces the public costs associated with county, state and federal agencies’ emergency response actions. Additionally, removing the structure after the buyout creates a permanent open space that can naturally receive water, improves flood water storage and conveyance, and improves or creates habitat.

Next Steps

There are several ways to determine if your home is located in a floodplain and potentially eligible for the home elevation and buyout progam:

  • Check out your property address in King County iMap and activate “flooding info” in the layers list.
  • If your home is located in unincorporated King County, contact King County, the Flood District’s primary service provider, at 206-477-4812.
  • If your home is located within the Snoqualmie city limits, contact the City of Snoqualmie, the Flood District’s service provider for home elevations and buyouts within city limits, at 425-888-5435.