State offers buyouts for flood damaged homes

The Evening Sun, Chenango County, June 1, 2008
By: Jessica Lewis, Sun Staff Writer

NORWICH – Property owners who suffered enough damage during the 2006 flood to see a decrease in their property assessment could get some aid from the state.

At the May meeting of the City of Norwich Public Safety/Public Works Committee, Emergency Management Officer A. Wesley Jones said the state has allocated $15 million for the acquisition of one and two-family homes that were damaged by flooding and posed a future risk. Approximately $275,000 is estimated to be allocated to properties in Chenango County.Eleven counties in the Southern Tier and Catskill region will be involved in the program, which will be overseen by the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. In the past, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has administered similar programs, but this one will be administered by the state.

The program would provide funds to buyout the mortgages on some properties and pay for the costs of demolition. While the details of the program have not yet been released, it is clear that the properties would have to be used for some kind of “green” purpose and could not be redeveloped. “The goal is to remove properties that could demonstrate future losses,” Jones said. It isn’t clear whether the state or the municipality would then own the property.

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