Gov. Chris Christie yesterday announced an additional $75 million for the Blue Acres program to protect homeowners affected by repeated flooding.
The program enables the state to purchase the properties of willing sellers in disaster-prone areas at pre-flood market values, providing them the resources to move to safer locations. This federal- and state-funded initiative also is used to demolish existing homes in danger zones and convert that land into open space to mitigate the impact of flooding from the ocean, bays, rivers, and creeks.
Of the nearly 900 offers made by the Blue Acres Program as of October 23, 689 have been accepted; 610 acquisitions have closed; and 475 homes have been demolished. The program also has successfully facilitated short sales or payoff approvals with lenders for 66 properties for which owners owed more on their mortgages than the appraised value of the home. That resulted in debt forgiveness of more than $5.1 million, enabling more families to move out of harm’s way.