Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to buy up your Sandy damaged home and sell them over to land developers, according to a report by WNYC.

Following the lead of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who wants to spend $400 million to buy up Sandy homes at pre-Sandy values, Bloomberg wants a similar plan for the city. The difference is that under Cuomo’s plan, the land would be converted into parks, public spaces and wetlands, while Bloomberg wants to use the land to sell to real estate developers.

Brad Gair, the director of the city’s housing recovery testified at a City Council meeting as to why the mayor is pursuing this plan.

“These are valuable properties,” WNYC reported Gair saying at the meeting. “There is a limited amount of coastline properties.”

Criticism of the plan surrounds the economic risk the taxpayers incur should the redeveloped lands be flooded again:

James Fraser, an associate professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, says the requirement protects taxpayers from having to pay twice for the same property: to buy it out, and then again later, if it gets flooded.

“When a locality continues to develop in a flood plains, they are not only putting themselves at risk,” Fraser, who has researched FEMA buyouts, said. “They are putting the nation at risk because financially FEMA has to pay for future flooding.”

Mayor Bloomberg has suggested that modern construction methods, such as elevating homes above the 100-year-flood level, will make them sufficiently flood-proof for the future. Fraser says modern rebuilding helps, but it doesn’t solve the whole problem.

“You still have impervious surface and that impervious surface is going to contribute to the amount of flooding that’s experienced in the surrounding area,” he said.

For Bloomberg’s plan to go through, he’ll need permission from the federal government, which wants to ensure that buyouts are based on pre-storm values and that those selling are given adequate assistance to relocate.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Bloomberg doesn’t care where development takes place. Just as long as it does take place.

    The hell with parks and wetlands. His class gets cut out of the picture in that scenario.

    • bagels

      I happen to agree with you but Bloomie is a businessman. You can’t collect taxes on wetlands and parks.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        The developers will get incentives to redevelop “depressed” areas, Coney Island, South Beach, and parts of Rockaway were in a poor state before Sandy. Remember slum clearance? The modern form keeps government’s role to a minimum. The private sector can do a better job. We’ll ignore the fact that such plans do not help the people who live in these areas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nita-Hiltner/1175088509 Nita Hiltner

    Wow, talk about a vulture, Bloomberg! It’s happened out here in California where now only the very wealthy can live by the beach. I hope all those homeowners rebuild and hold out.

  • nolastname

    Amazing. Bloomie giveth and Bloomie taketh away,,,,,mostly taketh away.

    I’m sure he will include affordable housing in his plans…….Sarcasm off now.

  • Pingback: Mayor Bloomberg Wants to Buy Hurricane Sandy Homes and Redevelop Land | Inhabitat New York City

  • guest

    Anyone that sells to this criminal is a fool.

  • Larry

    Does anyone know where to call to get this program. Had no flood insurance.

  • seenoevilspeaknoevil

    bloomberg and cuomo.. tsk tsk tsk. 100$ says these properties they obtain will be turned into halfway houses and homeless shelters as well as low income housing. tax exemptions and pure profit all around.. MMMM CAPITALISM.