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.

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“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.

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“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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