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Buyout & Acquisition Programs

The Housing Recovery Program also managed the State’s voluntary Buyout & Acquisition Programs, which were established to purchase the properties of interested homeowners whose homes were substantially damaged or destroyed during Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee. The programs are now complete.
Operating in select neighborhoods, the Buyout Program improves the resiliency of the larger community by transforming parcels of land into wetlands, open space, or stormwater management system, creating a natural coastal buffer to safeguard against future storms. The coastal buffer areas are intended to address those who live in areas that regularly put homes, residents and emergency responders at high risk due to repeated flooding. Areas selected for the program were, first and foremost, driven by cooperation of the individual homeowners. They reflected consultation with county and local governments and, in some cases, direct appeals from the community, thereby representing a ground-up approach that has been highly effective.
Properties purchased in the Acquisition Program are redeveloped in a resilient manner to protect future occupants of the home and maintain the housing stock in storm-impacted communities.
As part of the Lot Next Door program, select properties obtained by NY Rising through the Buyout Program in Staten Island are available to eligible purchasers and/or land stewards for uses compatible with open space such as gardens, outdoor recreation, wetlands management, nature reserves, cultivation, grazing, camping, and unpaved parking lots. Properties will be restricted to open space in perpetuity through recorded open space covenants. Interested parties should contact [email protected] for more information.


Is eligibility based on income?

No. Household income documentation is required for federal reporting purposes.

Is a property appraisal required?

Yes. NYS retains a qualified, licensed appraiser and contacts each property owner regarding the schedule for appraisal work in the vicinity. The appraiser may contact you directly if access to the property is required.

What if I disagree with the appraisal’s determination for market value?

The Program pays the cost for the initial independent appraisal. If you believe the appraised value is too low, you can retain another appraiser at your own expense to perform a second appraisal of the FMV. NYS will not reimburse your appraisal expense.

What if public assessment record information is not correct? (Example: Incorrect number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc.)

Inform your Case Manager. An appeal process is available to help you resolve your concern.

Once the Buyout/Acquisition and closing process is complete, when will I receive my compensation?

All compensation for the Program will be provided on the day of the closing. However, the 5% Relocation Incentive is mailed to the homeowner once the homeowner shows proof of relocation within the county of their storm damaged property.

Who is responsible for the property after the Buyout or Acquisition is completed?

The NYS government entity that buys the property maintains the property.

If I have repaired the home, can I remove items that have been repaired or replaced?

You may be permitted, on request, to remove items such as appliances that do not affect the appraised FMV.

Once the Buyout/Acquisition of my property is complete, can I enter the home to collect any personal belongings?

No. When the closing ends, you no longer have access to the property.

Will I need an abstract? What if it was destroyed?

If you have an abstract, you should furnish it to your Case Manager when you accept and sign the Offer. Abstracts are not essential in most cases, but may facilitate the title search performed on your property.

I’m upside-down on my mortgage, and the Buyout offer amount is not enough to pay off my mortgage.

Buyouts occur only where a clear title can be provided. You need to contact your lender to discuss the mortgage. There may be a city or county mortgage mediation or negotiation program that can advise or assist you.

I understand my property will be demolished and the land will be cleared after the Buyout is complete. Who is responsible for the demolition?

: The NYS government entity that buys the property is responsible for structural demolition and the cost of demolition hauling and proper disposal of the demolition debris.

I’m in the process of filing bankruptcy. Can I still participate?

You must contact your bankruptcy attorney regarding the impact of bankruptcy proceedings on your participation in the Program.

Will my Buyout or Acquisition payment be affected by other government funding I’ve received?

Yes. By law, HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) dollars cannot duplicate funds received from other sources, such as FEMA repair assistance, flood insurance benefits or property acquisition funds. That is DOB verification. NYS completes DOB verification before the Owner and NYS agree to the property sale.

Do I still have to pay taxes on my flood-damaged property?

Yes. All property owners are obligated to pay taxes and keep their property in compliance with local codes and ordinances until the property sale closes and ownership changes hands. This is true for all storm-affected properties in the Program.

Do purchasers who acquire homes through auction obligated to elevate the homes?

All purchasers who acquire homes through auction are obligated to elevate homes according to NYC State building and local municipality codes.

What is the timeframe for redevelopment of a home?

All purchasers of auction properties will have three (3) years from the date of closing to redevelop their homes in accordance with NYS building and local codes. All applicants must submit proof in a form of an Post Elevation Certificate or Certificate of Occupancy (CO) to the following e-mail address: [email protected]. Properties purchased at auction on 11/14/2018 will have 18 months from the date of closing to redevelop their homes in accordance with NYS building and local codes.

Can purchasers who acquire properties at auction ask for an extension of time to redevelop?

All purchasers can request an extension of time to redevelop the property. They must submit a Request for Extension form, which will outline the reason for the needed extension. A Request for Extension must show owner’s good faith efforts to obtain the Final Certificate of Occupancy and Post Elevation Certificate. 

What happens to the property if an auction purchaser does not redevelop within the three-year timeframe?

If a purchaser does not redevelop within a three-year time frame and does not ask for an extension to redevelop, the result will be an automatic reversion of the property to New York State.

Are there fees that the purchaser is responsible for and what are the costs?

All recording fee’s are paid by the purchasers from the auction.

  • Suffolk County $150
  • Nassau County $505

How long does it take for a release to be recorded?

It generally takes between 2-3 weeks for a release to be recorded.