The Plan to Buy Back Flood Zone Property

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

New York Times reporter Thomas Kaplan discusses the likely offers forthcoming from the state to buy your home if it's in the 100-year flood plain.


Thomas Kaplan

Comments [24]

I like the law, but here's the only problem with it. What do you do in areas like Coney Island, Rockaway, Lower Manhattan and Williamsburg where there are high rise apartment complexes in the flood zone?

Feb. 05 2013 03:00 PM
tag from new jersey

After Katrina happened the Federal government had a law that no building near low-lying areas near waterways. I would hope there would be a law- no building within 3 miles of a waterway. This is the only way to avoid these problems. Parks, wetlands, and recreational areas should be made instead. This is the only way to avoid all the costs of storm damage.

Feb. 05 2013 02:08 PM

I'm wondering how this contrasts or conflicts with the fact that home prices have gone up in the storm hit areas because there is less real estate available.

Feb. 05 2013 10:41 AM
Eric Jacobson from Cranford, NJ

Cranford, NJ has been flooding for many years , many storms, Not much has been done. Nomahegan Park now has one house that is owned by union county and is abandoned.

Feb. 05 2013 10:32 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Hmm, is downtown Manhattan, Williamsburg, Dumbo, and the rapidly gentrifying parts of Red Hook get the same type of vacate order? Or is it just were retired firefighters and policemen live?

Feb. 05 2013 10:31 AM
walt from bellerose

This is an experiment. If it works it can be extended to river front properties in NJ and NY, or nationwide to the Mississippi flood plain and finally to California and the San Andreas fault. How much will it cost to vacate California?

Feb. 05 2013 10:30 AM


Are you serious? Geez, how about throwing in stiffer penalties for bringing a gun within 100 yards of a flood plain.

Feb. 05 2013 10:27 AM
Karen from merrick

The price of staying is huge...Where I live never had issues despite being on/near water.Large areas of Long Island fit into the 100 year flood plan.
The last two years have been hell...flooding and wreaked houses.... unfortunately I live in an middle class to affluent area..i don't live in a waterfront mansion yet more than likely I won't have this offer.

Feb. 05 2013 10:24 AM

Flood insurance is underwritten by federal guv, accd to NPR last week... Therefore the free market is not at work here. Now the federal gov is taking another job from the market -- setting prices!

If the fed hand is so strong here -- then why on earth isn't there a co2 reduction component attached to this?

Feb. 05 2013 10:24 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Presumably the government would dismantle the houses and remove the debris. They can't just let these building rot. It would be against health codes.

Feb. 05 2013 10:22 AM

My question is how do you prevent blight. For example if 4 houses on the block take the offer these become empty lots that will attract garbage and such.

Feb. 05 2013 10:20 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Breezy Point is great, but there are way too many houses out there. It's a sand bank, not a place to build a town.

Feb. 05 2013 10:18 AM
BK from Hoboken

Ideally, if 90% of residents in a neighborhood take the deal, ad there are holdouts, than the holdouts don't get insurance coverage from then on. The problem is that the flood insurance program is federally run. I don't think you want the Feds adopting or denying insurance on a case by case basis like that.

Feb. 05 2013 10:17 AM
Amy from Manhattan

What conditions are homeowners who take this deal required to agree to in addition to selling their homes to the state? (There are always additional conditions.)

Feb. 05 2013 10:17 AM
Donovan from Brooklyn

I agree with the previous commenters, if you live in the flood plain and are offered a buyout but do not take it you are on your own in the future.

Feb. 05 2013 10:15 AM

Insane politics

Feb. 05 2013 10:14 AM

Weren't these people required to have insurance???? If they have insurance, let them stay, but if their house gets trashed, the govt should not be buying them off. This seems so much more an insurance issue and not a flooding issue. The govt bail out money should only be to rebuild roads, restore water, and other services that the govt owns/installed.

Feb. 05 2013 10:13 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Sweeteners = peer pressure

Love the high school mentality.

Feb. 05 2013 10:13 AM

Will premium markets and/or second homes (i.e. Fire Island) be included?

Feb. 05 2013 10:12 AM
FireIslander from Ocean Beach

Will offers be made to homeowners in Fire Island (which is in a Flood Zone) regardless of whether the homes were damaged.

If homes are purchased by the State, how will this affect property taxes to the remaining residents (since these now to be undeveloped properties are likely to be taxed much less than a developed property)?

Feb. 05 2013 10:12 AM

Despite the good intentions, lawsuits will rage for 10 years as people who choose to stay are left living in ghost towns.

Feb. 05 2013 10:11 AM
Karen from Merrick NY

please buy my house!

Feb. 05 2013 10:10 AM
fuva from harlemworld

These homeowners can take the deal or not. But the taxpayer must be indemnified against their future losses. And homeowners insurance won't be enough, given costs for rescue, infrastructure damage, etc.

Feb. 05 2013 10:07 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

I am interested in knowing the details. But I like the idea overall. I support it. I think if you build in flood areas, you should be on your own if you house gets destroyed. Paying people to move is the decent thing to do as long as that land if left to grow wild again.

Feb. 05 2013 09:56 AM

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