Bill Thompson Proposes Easier Sandy Buy-Out Process

By Colby Hamilton on July 10, 2013 3:31pm 

 Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson.
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson.
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DNAinfo/Colby Hamilton

NEW YORK CITY — Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson said Wednesday that, as mayor, he would make it easier for property owners looking to get bought out of their Sandy-ravaged homes.

Joined by Staten Island State Sen. Diane Savino, who is backing Thompson’s mayoral bid, the former comptroller unveiled his buyout plan as part of a proposal to deal with both Sandy recovery and future storm preparation.

“We will be dealing with the recovery process long after the current mayor's administration,” Thompson said.

Under Thompson’s plan, property owners in flood plains who voluntarily wanted to sell their property to the government would have the opportunity to do so—something the current mayor has in the past been resistant to.

“We don't need what Mayor Bloomberg has said, that we can't abandon the waterfront,” Thompson said.

Under Bloomberg’s current recovery plan, homeowners are eligible for buyouts under certain circumstances and may see their property return to open space or be sold to a developer. Under Thompson’s plan—which his campaign says mirrors that of Gov. Andrew Cuomo—the default buyout position would be to return the property to open space, to be paid for largely through federal Sandy recovery funds.

Savino said Thompson’s position would be to the benefit of her constituents in Staten Island and Brooklyn.

“The current mayor and the governor have been at cross purposes in these communities,” she said. “You shouldn't have people at cross purposes in government.”

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