1/26/13

Will State Offer Buyouts to Waterfront Homeowners?

In his State of the State speech and again in a Daily News interview earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state should offer to buy out owners of waterfront homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

According to climate change experts, retreating from the shoreline is the most effective way to prevent storm damage.  Moving away from the flood zone not only avoids the damage caused by increasingly frequent extreme weather events, but would likely be cheaper in the long run than repeatedly rebuilding.

How the governor would fund his proposed buyout program is unclear, but in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, the state relied on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

To be eligible for the program, homeowners must first convince their local municipality to petition the state, which, in turn, would petition the federal government.

For New York City residents, that means buy-in by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, although his administration hasn't ruled out the option, has so far favored rebuilding over retreat from the flood zone.

The post from Capital New York.

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