Tuesday, March 12, 2013

House Buybacks on Risky NYC land

The governor of New York is looking to spend $400 million purchasing homes that were significantly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.  This program still requires approval by federal officials, but state officials seem confident that possibly 10-15% of eligible people would take the buyout.  This would include about 10,000 homes that were damaged during Sandy.  Local law makers seem unsure of these numbers and seem to think that it may be a lot less than that.  This buyout would be giving the homeowners the pre-storm value of their home and offers bonuses to those in especially vulnerable areas and double this bonus if the entire block sells.  These homes would be taken down and replaced with natural buffers such as dunes, oyster reefs, and wetlands.  Part of the issue is who would be paying for this; some of the money would come from the disaster relief fund but some of it would also come from the Federal Department of Urban Development.  The main issue, though, is that people simply do not want to move.  Most of these people grew up along the coast and do not want to go anywhere else.  I personally believe that this may be a bad idea simply because it does not seem like there are a lot of people genuinely interested in selling their homes.  These people do not want to leave the coast even if their area is disaster stricken frequently and feel that giving up their home is too high a cost, even if they must rebuild frequently.
--Kathy LeHew

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