Broken Clouds 53° Good Evening
Broken Clouds 53° Good Evening

Letters: Buying out storm-damaged homes

Streets of Ocean Beach on Fire Island were

Streets of Ocean Beach on Fire Island were flooded by superstorm Sandy. (Oct. 31, 2012) Photo Credit: Daniel Goodrich

I disagree with the Long Island politicians who believe that the majority of Island residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by superstorm Sandy would rather rebuild than accept buyouts.

As a victim of Sandy, my home was badly damaged. Although I am rebuilding, it's only because I am uncertain whether a buyout will ever take place. When residents consider the high cost of rebuilding, the fact that their flooded homes will lose value, and the shortfall in their flood insurance settlements, a buyout will make sense to many.

But the numbers don't add up. Newsday reports that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants to set aside $400 million for buyouts. However, if the average price of a home is $400,000, then there will only be enough money to buy back 1,000 homes out of the thousands that were damaged or destroyed. How will they be chosen?

The real problem is that there will be far more people interested in the program than there will be funds. Maybe that is why politicians are showing reluctance to support such a program. It doesn't make sense if only $400 million is set aside for buyouts.

Richard Feldman, Merrick

Some houses in sensitive areas should be purchased, but most should not. Waterfront areas are very important to a town's desirability.

Instead of buying one house for $300,000, why not give 10 homeowners $30,000 each toward elevating their homes above flood level?

Towns could also raise roads, etc., which would provide current and future stability to our shorelines.

Why is there so much talk about flooded houses losing value? These houses, and Long Island, have lost more value from the never-ending high taxes than from flooding.

When the sun comes out, the houses will be desired again.

Gary Maksym, Massapequa