Buyout of Damaged Homes on Fire Island

foreclosure defense for long islandersIn the 1960’s, the United States Army Corp of Engineers laid out plans to develop a shield for Fire Island, which is located on Suffolk County’s south shore. Under this plan, several thousand homes in flood zones would have been torn down and natural buffers, including wetlands, would have been restored. Unfortunately this never took place.

Superstorm Sandy

After Superstorm Sandy there were scores of homes damaged on Fire Island. Fire Island is a barrier island which lies a few miles from the South Shore of Suffolk County. There are 15 separate communities on Fire Island. After Superstorm Sandy damaged numerous homes, it was proposed that 40 or 50 homes on Fire Island be torn down and dunes be established at those locations to protect the rest of the island. Surveys have been conducted by the Suffolk County Department of Public Works with regard to the amount of land necessary to establish these dunes to protect the island.

It was originally estimated it would cost $46 million to tear down 41 homes and create 15 foot high dunes to protect Fire Island. This estimate has turned out to be too low. It is now estimated it will cost between $60 million and $80 million to tear down the homes, obtain easements and to rebuild the dunes necessary to protect the island.

The Program is Moving Slowly

Homeowners on Fire Island are concerned because the program is now a year behind schedule. There are 41 homes which have been condemned by Suffolk County on Fire Island. These homes cannot be sold. Homeowners who were offered buyouts under this program, who feel they were not offered adequate compensation for their condemned homes, can bring legal action to try to obtain a higher price for their home.

assistance for homeownersElliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure attorney. He represents homeowners on Long Island and in the City of New York whose homes are in foreclosure. He litigates issues involving improper bank practices, bad assignments, predatory lending, and all types of issues affecting homeowners facing foreclosure lawsuits. In addition, Elliot helps his clients obtain mortgage modifications.

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