Michael Migaud, a second-year Bush School student in the Department of Public Service and Administration and a graduate assistant researcher for the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy, recently presented research on Texas home buyout programs after natural disasters at the Texas Lyceum’s PubCon conference in Waco, TX. The Texas Lyceum is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, statewide leadership organization focused on identifying the next generation of top Texas leaders, and this meeting explored the hidden costs of housing in Texas. Migaud’s research was supported by a fellowship from the Texas Lyceum and supervised by Dr. Brian Nakamura, Assistant Professor of the Practice at the Bush School.
Migaud found that buyout programs often take years to complete, and the costs homeowners incur relocating are often greater than what they receive in compensation from the government for their property. His policy recommendations for the state were the following: (1) utilize some money from the Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund and the Flood Infrastructure Fund to develop hazard mitigation grants supporting municipalities in updating local floodplain maps, (2) create advanced disaster mitigation financing programs through the state economic stabilization fund to speed up property buyout processes, and (3) implement homeowner-friendly policies like property tax caps with phased in rate adjustments to minimize costs associated with relocating after participating in property buyouts.
Migaud’s research, titled “Property Buyouts after Natural Disasters: The Economic Implications for Texas Residents,” was published in the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy’s policy brief series, The Takeaway.