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Detroit rolling out program aimed at helping residents in flood prone neighborhoods

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Posted at 1:40 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 19:50:41-04

(WXYZ) — Friday morning Detroit city officials and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan discuss the flooding crisis in metro Detroit.

"We know the climate crisis is making flooding worse and more severe," says Regan. " That's why we need services like the Detroit Backup Basement Program."

The City of Detroit announced on Feb. 7 a new program that’s aimed at helping residents in flood prone neighborhoods.

The program is reportedly largely funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said homeowners in 11 identified low-lying Detroit neighborhoods that have historically experienced basement backups during rain storms are eligible to apply for the Basement Backup and Flood Protection Program.

City Council Member Fred Durhal III was a part of the Friday conference and spoke about how these programs are dedicated to solutions.

"I didn't have to ask folks what they wanted fix," said Durhal. " They would take me to their basements and say 'right here.'"

Michigan is receiving $213 million in infrastructure investment and from this, about 3,300 jobs will be created.

"We are going to make sure the communities that need the resources most will be in line first," said Regan.

Duggan says they are rolling out the first phase of the program in Victoria Park and Aviation Sub neighborhoods, which were hard hit during heavy rain in June 2021.

The first phase is expected to begin in spring of 2022 and end in the summer of 2022. Duggan says if that goes well, they will launch phase 2, aimed at helping the other neighborhoods.

The city says DWSD will manage the program which will aim to “harden” residents’ basements.

“We know what the pattern is … with climate change we can’t tell you it’s not going to happen again and again,” said Duggan.

The maximum limit from this program for each eligible resident is roughly $6,000 with services that include:

1. Inspect sewer lateral service line with CCTV

2. Disconnect downspouts and install extensions at least three feet from foundation

3. Install backwater valve only if sewer lateral service line is in viable condition

4. Install sump pump on properties where diversion is possible

5. Install backwater valve and sump pump with sump pump overflow

The program does not cover:

* No replacement or repair of a sewer lateral service line from the house to the city connection.

* No replacement or repair of other private plumbing.

* No repairs to basement foundation or floor, such as pre-existing cracks, gaps and failing seals.

* No reimbursement for additional or alternative power for sump pumps.

* No reimbursement for existing backwater valve and/or sump pump.

* No replacement of an existing backwater valve or sump pump.

* No addition of another sump pump and/or backwater valve.

* No plumbing repairs on the private property including inside the house and the water service line.

* No homeowners in neighborhoods outside of the target areas will be eligible due both to funding capacity and based on historic basement backup data.

* If you have a finished basement with flooring other than cement, this program will only cover repatching the cement floor – the City will not subsidize the cost for restoring any tile, wood, carpeting, other materials, and/or fixtures.

Eligible residents will have an inspection inside and outside the home by a plumber who will then have a conversation with the homeowner about their options before the next steps.

According to the city's website, "Once the work for the property under this program is approved by DWSD, the homeowner occupant will make a 10% deposit of the total cost, or 20% of the total cost is paid by the landlord if this is a rental property. Homeowner occupants can have a waiver for the deposit if they are enrolled in the Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP)."

To read more about the program and to apply, click here.