For those whose homes have never faced water infiltration you have no idea how invasive and frankly almost irreparable the damage is. There is the risk of mold and simple rot, especially on older homes that were the predominant victims of the storm in Staten Island and Queens. These are not the fantastic towers designed by Stararchitects or built with modern codes and features that would enable repair. Add to the fact that most of the owners of these water "front" homes were not the Celebrities of the Hamptons but working class people who could not afford Flood Insurance or the additional premiums associated with homes in high risk areas.
And as many now face the bulldozer the remaining question is where do they go and who builds it? The last GOP Convention said WE BUILT IT so I suggest they get there right away and start doing just that without Government help of any kind. Walk the Walk you Talked. Or in simple terms Prove it.
What will happen is a massive foreclosure and in turn fire sale that will put land in a tightly knit housing market into play and the riches will ensure that they will secure their investments while the poors - well those FEMA trailers from NOLA still available.
What could be a great opportunity to redevelop housing and meet the needs of the largely working class communities that reside there and establish affordable sustainable housing that could weather a storm will in fact be awash in another kind of storm. What a tragedy to think that this would be an amazing opportunity to examine alternative style housing - such as Living Building with its focus on using their own energy and not wasting any... a great place to prove how compost toilets really work or Pre-fabricated housing with its quick construction and focus on size and energy efficiency to offset the costs of already living in America's most expensive city. But none of that will happen. What will happen is the usual struggles and debates over who is going to build it. I watch Treme and wonder if David Simon will do a Staten Island version next season.
by William K. Rashbaum
Published November 17, 2012
New York City is moving to demolish hundreds of homes in the neighborhoods hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy, after a grim assessment of the storm-ravaged coast revealed that many structures were so damaged they pose a danger to public safety and other buildings nearby.