Last month I mentioned this NYS buyout of homes in the Ocean Breeze area of Staten Island. I stated that I would get back to y’all with some details but life has gotten in the way, however, there was an article posted today on the ABCNews website: NY to Buy Homes in NYC Neighborhood Hit by Sandy (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ny-buy-homes-nyc-neighborhood-hit-sandy-20929102) so here we go.
During the October 2013 Volunteer trip in which several students from #SUNY #EmpireStateCollege went down to Staten Island to help in the recovery effort, Darrell Hayes, the Staten Island Disaster Relief Coordinator for the Diocese of New York, drove us into some of the worst hit areas on his side of the Island and provided some important background information regarding the folks that had and were still living there, the deaths from the storm, the buyout, and the history of the area.
I thought that the buyout was mandatory, however, the article states that it is voluntary. Governor Cuomo stated that the state has offered to buy all of the 129 homes in several flood-prone areas that were devastated by Superstorm Sandy. The areas in question are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and tidal marshland. Due to these factors, the area should be returned to the marshland that it once was before the housing boom brought families into these neighborhoods. The buyout for the homeowner’s will be at pre-storm value!
This buyout is a slippery slope because NYS is currently operating with a deficit. On November 9, 2012, an article on the TimesUnion.com website titled: Cuomo says Sandy adds $1B to deficit: Governor expects worse financial picture for state (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Cuomo-says-Sandy-adds-1B-to-deficit-4021228.php#ixzz2BhMPbLf2), stated that: “Without offering details, Cuomo said the storm would cause “an additional $1 billion deficit on the state side, maybe higher” on top of a deficit that before the storm had been pegged at $1 billion.”
After touring and helping the folks in these areas, I am sympathetic to their plight. However, I would like to know what you think about this? Your comments and insight would be greatly appreciated!