Albanese: Cuomo’s Sandy buyout should be extended to renters

Albanese: Cuomo’s Sandy buyout should be extended to renters
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Talk about a security deposit!

Hizzoner hopeful Sal Albanese called for offering tenants in Sandy-smashed neighborhoods a year’s rent to vacate their homes in preparation for the next superstorm.

The former Bay Ridge councilman’s proposal would be an extension of Governor Cuomo’s $400-million plan to buy out hurricane-hurt homeowners and convert their waterlogged properties into storm-absorbing wetlands. The governor argued that his plan would move residents out of vulnerable areas and create a barrier to future floods — and Albanese argued that tenants should get the same treatment.

“It’s only right that renters and homeowners be treated in an equitable manner,” said Albanese.

The Gracie Mansion contender suggested giving leaseholders the money in a lump sum — an amount that Albanese said might be based on an average for rents in the area.

“We would have to work out all of the numbers,” the candidate said.

Albanese acknowledged that such a program would be expensive, and would likely require some state funding. But he argued that residents are entitled to the money because the government failed to brace New York for Sandy — despite repeated warnings from weather experts.

“The city and the state owe them that because they didn’t protect those people from the storm,” Albanese said.

The governor’s plan has only gotten a weak response so far, with homeowners in just a few areas of Staten Island — but almost none in Brooklyn — agreeing to sell. Albanese acknowledged that renters may not jump aboard his buyout boat, either — but argued the government should still make the offer.

“It would allow them the opportunity to move elsewhere,” said Albanese.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.