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House Flood Vote Could Lead To Lifting Of Natomas Building Moratorium

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Anjali Hemphill Anjali Hemphill
Anjali Hemphill joined CBS 13 in June 2012 and she's happy to make the...
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NATOMAS (CBS13) — Jennifer Taylor’s home looks the same it did when it caught fire two years ago. Thanks to a six-year building moratorium in Natomas, nothing has changed.

She and her family have always had plans to move back in, but their insurance ran out long before rebuilding the home could happen.

“It’s really just a weight around your neck,” she said. “It will be nice to get rid of it.”

She could get the chance to move on after the House of Representatives passed a bill to find a major flood-protection project to build up the levees surrounding the basin.

The moratorium has been in place since 2008, because the Federal Emergency Management Agency determined the levees were unsafe.

That stoppage meant no chance for Taylor to rebuild after the fire gutted her home. Her insurance company only gave her a year to fix her home or replace it.

“We had more coverage, so we could have stayed in our rental for three years, but they said, nope, too bad, so sad,” she said. “They quit paying the rent after a year, and we had to buy another house.”

Now the family is left paying property taxes, flood insurance and upkeep on a pile of rubble on top of their new home expenses.

“I’m estimating it’s probably an extra $200 to $300 a month when it’s all said and done to just keep it, because no one will buy it the way it is right now,” she said.

Now the lifting of the moratorium will let her finally put the damaged home up for sale.

“It means closer to unloading this, closer to us not having to come by every two or three weeks to cut down the weeds and make sure it hasn’t been broken into again,” she said.

A chance to unload the burden, even if it’s too late to save the memories and the money that was spent.

“It’s kind of frustrating paying all that money out over the last two years when you aren’t going to be able to do anything with it, you can’t come home,” she said.

The Senate is expected to vote on its version of the bill later this week. If the Senate approves it, city leaders expect it will still take about a year to lift the moratorium.

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