New legislation has been introduced that would create a home buyout program for residents in flood-prone areas of New York, including the Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier and along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The program would be managed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation.
Sen. Joseph Griffo and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon are sponsoring the legislation to allow local governments to designate areas of persistent flooding as floodplains, and offer buyouts to residents at fair market value through the Urban Development Corporation.
“Unfortunately, there are homeowners who, as a result of devastating flooding, are unable to sell their damaged properties at a fair value,” said Griffo. “While residents would be under no obligation to sell their home, this legislation provides them with an opportunity to sell their property for more than they would on the open market.”
According to the bill, if a home is purchased through the program, the local government can develop that property into an open, communal space, like a park.
“This legislation would enable homeowners to voluntarily sell their flood-prone properties to local governments, which would transition those properties into open, public space,” said Buttenschon.
Legislators say buying out these residences will also help municipalities cut down on costs to repair, redevelop or deploy emergency services to properties affected by flooding.