Bossier Parish residents who chose not to rebuild their homes damaged by floods as long ago as 2009 have moved one major step closer to receiving compensation following a parish police jury vote Wednesday.

Jury members voted unanimously to authorize spending money for the acquisition and demolition of a group of 12 homes that have been approved for funding through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

“We’ve been authorized by GOHSEP (Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness) to purchase the homes and passing the ordinances starts the process,” Parish Engineer Butch Ford reported. “We have to have police jury permission to move forward.”

Several of the homes approved are located in the Tall Timbers subdivision, an area that was hard hit two years in a row (2015, 2016). Eleven of the homes are in the Haughton area; one is on Caplis Sligo Rd.

Under the FEMA mitigation program, homeowners will receive 75 percent of the pre-flood value of their home, Ford added.

While funding has been approved for this group of homes, money will not be changing hands just yet, Ford said.

“We’re working diligently to schedule closings to start purchasing these homes. In a couple of weeks, perhaps by the next (police jury) meeting, maybe we can say we’ve purchased a couple,” he explained. “We have to do all our due diligence before we can purchase these homes.”

Discussions with FEMA continue and Ford said he hoped there would soon be word on more applications for assistance the parish had forwarded on behalf of homeowners.