Despite the tireless efforts of volunteers in the Rockaways and other areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, some homes simply could not be salvaged. Over the weekend, The NY Times reported that the city Department of Buildings has slated over 200 of these homes for demolition across the boroughs. Another 500 properties still need to be inspected to see if they too will face the same fate.
Bulldozers will begin razing the most badly damaged homes in the Rockaways, Staten Island and other parts of Queens. The chosenhomes are ones that simply cannot be saved due to structural damage like cracked foundations or missing floors. Five hundred more homes are on the docket for inspection to see if they will need to be torn down.
But just who is responsible for demolition costs still remains to be seen. Many displaced hurricane victims have come home to find alarming red tags on their houses from the Department of Buildings. Some tags indicate that house will be demolished, while others note that homes left unrepaired will face building violation fines – a threat that some feel adds insult to injury. But city officials, such as Staten Island Councilman James Oddo, have ensured red tag holders not to worry. Although they will continue to place red tags on homes that could be dangerous, Oddo has stressed that the city will share the financial burden of demolition, and will not prosecute.
The remaining 500 homes are scheduled to be inspected over the next few weeks, and only time will tell whether they can be salvaged or not.
Via NY Times