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Residents considering walking away from flood-damaged homes

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CENTRAL – Homeowners are so upset with the requirements and process of trying to get help following last month's flood that they are willing to walk away from their homes.

Some say that what they are going through may not be worth keeping their damaged homes.

One homeowner, Thomas Maloy, received $30,000 worth of damages to his home in Central.

"I have car jacks helping hold up the refrigerator and other parts of the house, just to keep from caving out from underneath our feet," Maloy said.

Maloy has been rejected three times by FEMA and denied by the Small Business Administration. He said that he does not even qualify for $10,000 to make minimal repairs. Now, he is considering walking away from his home.

"If I can't fix the home and make it safe for my family living there, what's the point of paying for it and staying there?" Maloy said.

Maloy is not the only homeowner in Central with this feeling. WBRZ spoke to another homeowner, who did not wish to be identified, who may be leaving her home if she is required to elevate her home.

"I can't afford to elevate this house. This is an almost 5,000-square foot house. I can't elevate this house. So if you have to, what are you going to do? Walk," she said.

However, city officials said they are working with FEMA on homes that will be required to be elevated.

"We are working as hard as we can to make sure that as few residents as possible are faced with that decision," Amanda Moody, of Central Economic Development, said.

Maloy is not required to elevate, but he is required to make repairs in order to remain in his home. Maloy said he plans to speak with FEMA one more time before making a final decision.

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