SAYREVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)New Jersey’s superstorm Sandy homeowner buyout program has had some successes, Gov. Chris Christie announced at a town hall meeting Thursday.

Christie said the state has made offers to purchase 265 homes in Sayreville and neighboring South River from willing sellers. So far, 175 have accepted.

In just Sayreville, the governor said 121 homeowners accepted a buyout offer and 47 have closed.

Christie said the program is allowing some families to start over.

“I’m glad that we’re now going to be in a position to be able to buy many of those homes and allow the folks who own those homes to have a new start,” said Christie.

Repeatedly flooded homes are eligible for the voluntary buyouts. Once sales are finalized, the state razes the homes and returns the land to its natural state.

Demolition of four homes occurred last month.

“It is a solution to the problem which has plagued this area for a several decades and which has accelerated greatly in the last four years,” Sayreville Mayor Kennedy O’Brien said.

The administration has $300 million in federal storm recovery money to fund the program.

Additional money for buyouts is likely when New Jersey receives a second round of funding this spring.

There were a number of empty seats at Thursday’s town hall, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

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