Homeowners impacted by 2015 landslides to get FEMA payout

Posted at 4:35 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 23:10:02-04

COLORADO SPRINGS- Following up on a story we have been tracking for years. Colorado Springs residents living on the west side, who had their homes destroyed by landslides back in 2015 are now set to receive a federal payout for those homes. Three of the homeowners are being put on track for that payout after a move by city council on Tuesday. City leaders say it’s extremely competitive to get federal assistance from FEMA for landslide damage and with insurance companies unable to help in most cases city staff has spent years now building a case to get our neighbors help.

A year after the 2015 landslides in Colorado Springs impacting the Skyway neighborhood News 5 spoke with Joe Meiris at his mother’s home. The backyard was swallowed up by surging mud and debris.

“Things have gotten progressively worse. The land is still moving,” Meiris told our crew back in 2016.

Nearly four years after the damage that made homes in Skyway and the Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhoods unlivable, Colorado Springs city leaders are set to approve a FEMA take over of some of the homes in the area, many of them original homeowners.

“Everything is destroyed. Big cracks in the houses lots of mold and other issues where half the house is sliding off the hill,” said Colorado Springs City Council President Richard Skorman.

Skorman says there’s only so much federal money to go around and city leaders are working to help secure funding for roughly a dozen homeowners impacted.

“We know all the people in need we just can’t get the federal funding to help everybody yet,” said Skorman.

On Tuesday city council moved to get three of those homeowners who have been waiting the assistance they need.

“We want to help facilitate this because this is a way they can try to get some of their investment back. Not all of it, they only get 75%.” said Skorman.

With FEMA paying just 75%t of the value of homes, homeowners will still need to find other ways to make up for their losses. In this process homes being paid for with federal dollars will have to be torn down. Those areas will be required to remain open green space.