Gov. Andrew Cuomo feels so strongly about not rebuilding in risky waterfront areas that he is willing to purchase the property.
The governor plans to use hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to buy beachfront homes and transform them into undeveloped coastline.
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Cuomo mentioned the plan in his State of the State address last month, among plans for making New York better prepared for storms.
“There are some places where people may choose not to build back,” he said in his speech. “We want to run a program that will provide the funds to buy out those homeowners who don’t want to rebuild and want to move on to higher ground, literally.”
He has stressed that New Yorkers should be careful about rebuilding, suggesting that if they do decide to build again on the waterfront, they should do so with houses, for example, on stilts.
But for some areas, he envisions no homes at all. For people who are willing, he would offer to buy their homes at the pre-storm value.
Ultimately, the land would become vacant, possibly with dunes and wetlands that would enforce storm protections. Environmental Conservation Department Commissioner Joseph Martens spoke about the plans today in Albany, Bloomberg reported, saying that the property would be maintained as open space.
The governor has also suggested roll-down doors for subways and bolstering the harbor.