Cuomo Proposes Buying Flood-Prone Properties

Monday, February 04, 2013

Buildings in the Rockaways deemed unsafe by the city after Hurricane Sandy. Buildings in the Rockaways deemed unsafe by the city after Hurricane Sandy. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing to purchase and demolish homes in flood-prone areas to create more undeveloped coastline for the state.

The state could spend as much as $400 million on the program, according to The New York Times.  It would require approval from the federal government.

Residents of some 10,000 homes in flood-prone areas would be offered the pre-storm value of the house in order to relocate. Some in particularly vulnerable areas would also get a bonus to sell. In some neighborhoods deemed to be at extreme risk, residents would be offered a second bonus if an entire block agrees to leave. 

The purchased land would be turned into parkland or natural buffers against future storms, such as wetlands or dunes. 

The buyout plan would require approval from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Thomas Kaplan, a reporter with The Times, has been talking to homeowners. He said he's heard mixed reactions to the proposal.

"Some people say I've had enough, I will gladly sell my home, tell me when I can sign up." he said. "Other people say I chose to live by the water, my family's lived here for a very long time, this is what we put up with and we're not leaving."


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Comments [4]

Buyout of our properties so Bloomberg can have them redeveloped and given over to his buddies -- getting government to subsidize it, that's the answer. What might actually be a good idea is if right now we just give people what they need to repair and protect their homes properly, then have them create escrow type accounts where they save for future events, as well as maintain necessary insurance. Maybe part of the sba loans being given out should be used for this escrow savings account.

Mar. 07 2013 01:50 PM
J Scott Klossner

Cumo has basically just devalued my home. I live in Rockaway, we had 4 feet of water in the house. But were not shorefront, we are in the middle of the peninsula. We also did not receive catastrophic damage in that the home was un-repairable. Un-liveable yes. In the meantime we are doing the best we can to repair the damage. Much of the funding from out of our own pockets. Now, you come up with this plan. By the time the state decides what they will do all repairs will be done. Waste of time and money?

So in short, NYS get moving, sh@t or get off the pot.

1.Tell us who would qualify.
2.Tell us what amount we are talking ball park.
3.Expect most of Rockaway to resist.

Why do I picture this just not turning out well at all the the average man? Slumlords will rake in cash on half abandoned buildings, all ready uber rich wall street Neponsit people will find a way to make a profit. But the average middle income, paying off my house month by month guys is going to get screwed.

Feb. 07 2013 06:29 PM
Bemused member of the public from Manhattan

The State wants to pay private citizens to move, but has chronically underfunded the New York City Housing Authority for years. Maybe NYCHA would have been better prepared to protect its residents if they had been funded.

Feb. 04 2013 02:01 PM

We live out on Long Island, South Shore and received over a foot of water throughout our entire house. The rest of our neighborhood is mostly rentals and those houses are condemned. Our house is on the market for half of its pre-storm value just so we can get out of our mortgage. We do not want to fix it as we dont want to be the only ones to move back to an abandone block lined with houses growing mold. We have a 3 year old son and he has mold allergies.

We would love to take advantage of this program but how long will this program take to implement/pass/gain gov approval? The bank expects us to make our mortgage payments and we are paying for a rental apartment, we would love to just move on to a new house (in a dryer location). This whole process is taking very, very long.

Feb. 04 2013 01:27 PM

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