NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing spending up to $400 million to buy and demolish homes destroyed by Superstorm Sandy and permanently preserve the land as undeveloped coastline.
Cuomo presented his plan to federal officials in Washington on Friday. The purchase plan would require federal approval since it would be paid for using a portion of the $51 billion disaster relief package approved by Congress last week.
Federal officials appeared receptive to the idea, according to the New York Times.
Cuomo said he hoped to announce details about the program in the next two weeks.
A spokesman for a storm task force created by President Barack Obama in December said it’s too soon to say whether New York will be allowed to proceed.
as 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported, the proposal may be a tough sell in many hard-hit areas, including the Rockaways.
Homeowners would be offered pre-Superstorm Sandy market value under the plan. There would also be bonuses, such as if a whole block agreed to sell.
But Daniel, of Belle Harbor, Queens, said pre-Sandy value was not all that great anyway. He said he does not expect people to go for the plan.
“Especially if people still have their mortgages, or whatever, like that, then we get the money, we don’t even have enough money to pay off our mortgages,” Daniel said. “Where would they be then? Where would they live?”
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Queens) said only a few people have shown any interest. But he predicted that more might when new flood maps come with strict requirements that may cost them too much to meet.
Paul owns a home in Belle Harbor, and said no way – even though his flood insurance will likely go up.
“I’m sure I’m going to be raised,” he said, but he added that staying is worth it for him.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Where else can I come home from work and be on the beach five minutes later.”
Would you take a buyout if your home would be demolished for a storm buffer zone? Leave your comments below…
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)