Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Cuomo Pushes More Homeowners to Leave Flood Zones
Monday, November 18, 2013
Governor Cuomo expanded a program to de-populate the state's most vulnerable flood zones by offering buyouts to 129 homeowners in Staten Island.
The expansion of the NY Rising Housing Recovery Program is aimed at the Ocean Breeze section of the island. Last year, many of the homes in the neighborhood were badly damaged during Sandy, and two people were killed.
"There is a higher frequency of these extreme weather conditions," said Cuomo at a press conference on Monday. "We see it in New York, we see it all across the nation, all across the globe. But people in these communities are feeling it and many of them are saying 'Enough is enough.' And I understand."
The buyout program was launched in April and already includes more 1,000 property owners on Staten Island and Long Island.
Participants are being offered the pre-storm value of their homes. State officials said the purchased properties would be "maintained as open space or transformed into coastal buffer zones, parks or other non-residential uses."