To protect more homes from future flooding and to lower flood insurance rates, Virginia Beach is considering funding a local program to buy out or elevate at-risk properties throughout the city. If approved, the new funding — a $1.5 million initial investment and then $500,000 annually — would represent a shift in the city’s strategy. Virginia Beach has historically relied on federal grants to pay for such individual-property projects. They have already elevated 24 repeatedly flooded homes and have plans to raise or purchase another 10. But those federal programs, often coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, have strict guidelines and can take years to process. “We’re very dependent on a federal […]