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Federal Government: Buying Out Flooded Homes Is A Complex Process

The street in front of a home on Wynsum Lane is littered with contents of a flooded home in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy on November 9, 2012 in Merrick, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The street in front of a home on Wynsum Lane is littered with contents of a flooded home in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy on November 9, 2012 in Merrick, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The federal government is providing guidance for towns and states considering flood-related home buyouts, but it is not as simple as just writing a check.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, if the federal government is going to buy up flooded-out homes, it will need to do so by neighborhood. If the process is piecemeal – that is, house by house – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said it would be a mess.

“What you’ve ended up with is a vacant lot next to your home that potentially sits for decades,” Donovan said.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said there are options.

“If people want to raise their homes, there will be money for that, and they should do it,” he said.

With the exception of some parts of Staten Island — where some people are abandoning their former homes and selling the land to the state to create a storm buffer – Schumer believes most people want to rebuild.

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