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Buyout programme experiences and perspectives of local public officials in eastern North Carolina



Anuradha Mukerji, Kayode Nelson Adeniji, Scott Curtis, Jennifer Helgeson, Jamie Kruse, Meghan Millea


Eastern North Carolina (ENC) has been buffeted by compound coastal water events (CCWEs) making residential buyouts, that seek to move households and communities out of flood risk areas, an important flood hazard mitigation tool. However, little is known about the experiences of local public officials implementing buyout programmes in rural coastal regions such as ENC in the United States. Using data from focus group interviews conducted with 24 emergency managers, planners, elected officials, and other public officials, we examine residential buyout programmes in ENC from the perspective of local public officials. According to ENC officials, while property attachment, social ties in the community, and financial considerations are key drivers for residential property owners in rural ENC considering a buyout, the governance of buyout programmes remains a complex lengthy process lacking adequate communication and leads to uncertainties for local public officials and property owners during the buyout. The uncertainty can be temporal, economic, or related to housing security. ENC officials recommend providing alternative mitigation options for small rural communities and simplifying and streamlining the buyout process along with improving communication throughout the buyout cycle to mitigate uncertainties in the buyout programme.
Environmental Hazards: Human and Policy Dimensions


Residential Buyouts, Buyout Program, Rural Buyout, Eastern North Carolina, Managed Retreat, Local Officials


Mukerji, A. , Adeniji, K. , Curtis, S. , Helgeson, J. , Kruse, J. and Millea, M. (2024), Buyout programme experiences and perspectives of local public officials in eastern North Carolina, Environmental Hazards: Human and Policy Dimensions, [online],, (Accessed July 13, 2024)


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Created January 22, 2024, Updated January 23, 2024