Sandy victims to take buyouts rather than rebuild

New York begins buying up homes in areas subject to frequent flooding. Staten Island community is the first to be offered buyouts.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 6, 2013 1:09PM

A worker walks past as a house damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy in the Ocean Breeze neighborhood of Staten Island on Jan. 16 (© Mike Segar/Reuters)It has been more than four months since superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast, devastating dozens of communities.

 

While many homeowners are working to rebuild, at least one community has decided to give up. Residents of Oakwood Beach, on New York’s Staten Island, have agreed to be bought out rather than rebuild. Other communities may follow.

 

"I’m done," Joe Monte, who has lived in the same home for 22 years, told The New York Daily News.

 

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"I can't handle it no more. I can't go near this home. I can't see this home. It’s affected my family. Just get us out of there. I want to feel normal again."

 

At least 169 of the 192 residents are ready to accept an offer from the state to pay them 100% of the value of their homes before the storm, plus an additional 5% if they relocate elsewhere on Staten Island. The marshy land is slated to be turned into a recreation area.

"Let's also recognize that there are some places that Mother Nature owns," New York Gov. Mario Cuomo said in announcing the buyout, as reported by The Staten Island Advance. "She may only come to visit every two years or three years or four years. But when she comes to visit, she reclaims the site."

Oakwood Beach, where beach bungalows that sprung up in the 1930s were gradually replaced by full-time homes, has suffered from flooding for years. The Associated Press explains:

... the community has repeatedly flooded, especially since 1992, when a nor'easter washed away a berm that had served to hold back the waves. Residents fought for years to have the berm rebuilt and other flood-mitigation efforts put in place. Some measures, such as a bulkhead that burned in a brush fire, were damaged or destroyed before Sandy. Others were simply overwhelmed by the amount of water pushed ashore by the giant storm, which hit at high tide during a full moon.

The is the first of a number of buyouts New York intends, with the goal of moving residents out of areas that experience frequent flooding. Residents of several other Staten Island communities have already asked for buyouts.

Oakwood Beach resident Barbara Mercado is ready to abandon her home of 36 years, where she raised her two children. "It’s with a heavy heart that we do it, but it's a necessary decision to be made," she told The New York Post.

 

 
88Comments
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Buyouts?????????? 

 

What a joke!   Bailouts is what that means!

 

Definition: Using other people's money to pay for the idiotic mistakes of the few!

Mar 17, 2013 6:05AM
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  Al republican have truoble wih reality(Trikledown Economics is a good for everyone) The truth(Iraq was responsable for 9-11 so we must invade) and caring about the the majority of the citisens of this country(Katrina victems,there is no such thuing as post traumatic stress syndrome,47pct,ers tink thier victims) I wonder how anyoe of the undertands just ow truley evile they are?
Mar 16, 2013 8:34PM
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These people knew about the area and knew that there would be no coverage for the surge they dont deserve nothing.
Mar 16, 2013 6:57PM
Mar 16, 2013 5:44PM
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When I bought my house I got maps from my insurance company showing flood zones and fire belts for the state I was moving to. I may be ten miles further down the road from the stores and theaters but I bought outside of these hazard zones knowing that it could still happen but at least i have enough affordable coverage to rebuild. Freak disasters happen anywhere but, if you CHOOSE to live in a hazard zone and not pay out the a** for coverage then I don't think you should be compensated.
Mar 16, 2013 4:22PM
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Buy worthless land and pay top dollar for it. Sounds like the government.
Mar 16, 2013 4:11PM
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why buy them out no one told them to build there
Mar 16, 2013 3:13PM
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If you live on the beach you are considered uninsurable by private insurance company's , which means the GOV will step in and take care of your house on the beach, meanwhile you people living inland are getting double "shafted"  having to pay for your own private house insurance while bailing out the uninsurable houses on the beach, this is some of your tax money at work
Mar 16, 2013 2:40PM
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Giving them a buy out  with taxpayers money is just plain stealing from the citizens of the State.  I am

sorry that the people that lived their lost their homes, but that was there risk and not for others to pay for when it doesn't go their way.    I don't remember getting the invite to use their place when I wanted to spend time at the beach.   Not only that, most of them think it is their beach and no trespassers allowed.  Of course that wasn't really the case was it.   Oh, well we have to deal with the hand you deal until the next election.

Mar 16, 2013 2:28PM
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I thought  everything was fine and dandy out there on the east coast after the storm way back in november before the elections,  I was under the impression from CBS, NBC, CNN, and ABC, that their person living in the White House had this all taken care of? I noticed during Hurricane Katrina they went "above and beyond" to report all the hardships going on,  but I don't see this with Hurricane Sandy, why is that?
Mar 16, 2013 2:27PM
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make it easy, pay them and tell all of them to all to leave, no rebuild for anyone. the code officer must have let them build

in the first place.

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I don't live near the Jersey shore and I am 100% against ANY TAXPAYER MONEY to be used for its rebuilding. These people knew the risks when they moved there. Let them pay. We get flooded here in the mIdwest all the time and there isn't any FEMA handouts for us nor do we want it.
Mar 16, 2013 2:03PM
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New code standards need to be set specifically for areas such as this, much like in Louisiana, where flooding is likely, and like florida where high winds are possible. Any rebuilding with present codeds is begging for disaster. dong the same thing over and over expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Insurance companies spread their loss out over a wide national base which means we all pay either directly or indirectly for disasers like this. The Federal Government should use foreign aid money to develop a strategy to protect an area like this if it continues to allow people to build here. Charity begins at home and these folks need help now instead of a third world country money pit.
Mar 16, 2013 1:05PM
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Where is Christy and President Obama now???
Mar 16, 2013 12:32PM
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Why should taxpayers be responsible to take care of those that choose to live in flood zone and such. I am sure this isn't the first time they have been affected by storms; why continue to live after the first severe storm damage...duh... Now they want people to feel sorry for them, well I don't and why should anyone else that was their choice to live in those areas.
Mar 16, 2013 9:47AM
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Someone should give money to all the people who didn't buy insurance, so we can punish the responsible people who did
Mar 16, 2013 9:25AM
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I feel it is good faith effort on part of tax payers to do this buyout. I also feel that there should be a law that no one should not be allowed to build with in 1/2 mile radius of any water body to protect tax payers from future payouts. That land should belong to general public so it can be utilized by all of us.
Mar 16, 2013 9:02AM
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This is good news. Governments along the eastern and southern coasts should take note of this and start structuring their own projects. Flooding is going to get worse, not better, and these lands can be used for temporary or seasonal commercial purposes - beaches, parks, research and many other things besides residences or permanent buildings. We need to get started on preparing for the inevitable.
Mar 16, 2013 8:55AM
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even with flood insurance squire st east brunswick n.j. we have had three years straight  malor flood damage the township and fema are draging thier feet blaming red tape nonsence on the delay of a buy out even after every resident went to the town council  begging for help i feelsorry for every person in the same situation pray for everyone who needs help hope you get it
Mar 16, 2013 8:20AM
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Do these people not have flood insurance or did they know the Risk they were taking?

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