State flood buyout program altered to help counties

CHENANGO COUNTY A flood buyout program offered by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal was altered recently after indications showed that several of the counties involved might not participate.

The state program was intended to help victims of the 2006 flood by providing 11 counties with $15 million for the acquisition of properties damaged by flooding since 2004, that are determined to be at future risk. The money would provide some homeowners stuck with an uninhabitable house with funds to pay off their mortgages. The property would then be transferred to the county under the condition that it be used for open space, recreational purposes, wetlands or flood mitigation.

However, according to Division of Housing and Community Renewal Deputy Commissioner Joe Rabito, several of the counties involved in the program were concerned that demolition and renovation costs for the homes and closing cost fees would have to be shouldered by the county.

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