Frequently Asked Questions

Acquisitions and Buyouts FAQ

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What is the New York State Acquisition for Redevelopment Program and how does it work?

The NYC Build It Back Program is working with New York State to administer and fund the New York State Acquisition for Redevelopment Program (NYSAfR). This Program is designed to offer owners of Sandy-affected properties the opportunity to sell their property to New York State. If an applicant is deemed eligible as part of NYC Build It Back's preliminary eligibility assessment, and the applicant elects to pursue the NYSAfR option, their file will be referred to a representative at the State working with NYSAfR. New York State will do an additional review and, if they determine that the applicant is eligible, the State will provide the applicant with an acquisition offer.

What is the difference between a buyout and an acquisition for redevelopment?

A buyout is New York State's program to purchase property that must remain undeveloped in perpetuity. An acquisition for redevelopment is when the government purchases a property that can then be redeveloped or sold to be redeveloped. New York State has announced it will be doing buyouts of Sandy damaged properties, but at this point only properties in Oakwood Beach and Ocean Breeze on Staten Island are included in the State's program. New York State in partnership with the New York City will be doing acquisitions as part of the New York State Acquisition for Redevelopment Program (NYSAfR) on a limited scale.

What are the eligibility criteria for the New York State Acquisition for Redevelopment Program?

An NYC Build It Back applicant may be eligible for the New York State Acquisition for Redevelopment Program (NYSAfR) option if they have or had a one or two-family home AND:

  • Their home was completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.


  • After a thorough inspection and cost estimate, NYC Build It Back determined that the property is "Substantially Damaged." This means that the damage is at least 50% of the value of the building structure.

In addition, only structures in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) which serve as an applicant's primary residence are eligible to be referred to NYSAfR. This Program is not currently available to owners of cooperative or condominium units, nor to applicants who have already received NYC Build It Back Program funds for reimbursement or improvements.

What are the criteria for eligibility for a buyout?

Buyouts are covered under New York State's Recreate NY Home Buyout Program. Specific eligibility criteria for buyouts and enhanced buyouts are outlined in the NYS CDBG-DR Action Plan (page 40-41). You can find more information on the Recreate NY Smart Home Program. The State is moving forward with buyouts in Oakwood Beach and Ocean Breeze on Staten Island and has not announced other plans at this time.

What price will New York State offer to acquire my property?

After the City finds an applicant preliminarily eligible, and the applicant indicates interest in the NYSAfR program, the State will review the application. Following a successful review of the application by New York State, an offer will be sent to the homeowner to begin the process of buying the property.

The offer amount will be determined by New York State, but will generally be comprised of two elements:

1. Current Property Value: An amount offered for the current value of your property. The current property value is determined by a post-storm appraisal.

2. Relocation Benefit Amount: An amount approximately equal to the difference between the pre-storm value of the property and the current property value. The pre-storm value is determined by an appraisal.

Are empty lots that were empty at the time of Hurricane Sandy eligible for acquisition?

Almost never. You can discuss your options, based on your specific circumstances, with a Housing Recovery Specialist or call NYC Build It Back's Customer Service Line at 212-615-8329.

How do mortgages impact applicants interested in the New York State Acquisition for Redevelopment program?

Although each situation may be unique, all applicants eligible for acquisition will be given the opportunity to work with a financial counselor to assess the New York State Acquisition for Redevelopment Program (NYSAfR) option. This will allow applicants to understand how participating in the Program may be affected by their existing financial situation, including how their mortgage may factor into the transaction. In general, it is necessary for any liens on the property to be satisfied as part of the acquisition in order for the acquisition to be able to occur.

For homeowners in foreclosure, the NYC Build It Back Program may offer some financial and legal counseling to assess and support potential sustainable housing solutions. This is relevant for applicants pursuing any of the available pathways.