Sandy destroys homes on Connecticut’s Gold Coast
Sandy wreaked havoc along Connecticut’s Gold Coast, damaging scores of pricey waterfront homes and displacing residents in towns like Westport, Greenwich and Norwalk. The Oct. 29 storm flooded boutiques in downtown Westport and destroyed three Greenwich mansions, the Associated Press reported, while hundreds of Fairfield homeowners waited days for water to recede so they could return to their homes. Total damage to Connecticut businesses and homes from the storm has topped $360 million, the Connecticut Post reported last month. Meanwhile, foreclosure activity in four Connecticut metro areas increased in the third quarter of 2012 despite a 13 percent nationwide drop, the Hartford Courant reported. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk market saw a 59 percent increase in foreclosure activity in the third quarter, while foreclosures in Norwich-New London grew by 50 percent. The Hartford area followed, with a 31 percent jump in foreclosure activity, and New Haven saw a 22 percent increase. Since Connecticut processes its foreclosures through the courts, some said the increase may be a result of slow court proceedings while investigations of suspicious lenders take place. Nationally, there is one foreclosure filing for every 248 households, compared to one in 314 in the New Haven area and one in 395 in Hartford.
LI faces housing shortage after storm
Long Island grappled with a housing crisis in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, news outlets reported. At least 1,000 homes on Long Island were rendered uninhabitable by the storm, Newsday reported, including 96 homes in the town of Babylon. On Fire Island, 12 homes were swept away and 80 percent of the remaining houses reportedly sustained some kind of damage. Last month, Nassau and Suffolk county officials said they would ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for mobile homes from private vendors for residents displaced by the storm. The two counties have also created housing advisory committees to consider a range of options to shelter storm victims, from unused space in nursing homes and college campuses to homes left empty by foreclosures. Also last month, FEMA announced a “temporary fix” program — the first of its kind in the country — designed to help Long Island storm victims live in their damaged homes. At Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s urging, FEMA said it would bring in contractors to perform basic repairs so residents can stay in their houses while major repairs are underway. Cuomo said he would request $30 billion in additional funding from Congress to pay for storm costs, including some $1.65 billion to help rebuild damaged homes, according to Newsday.
Greenburgh voters approve Field House plan
Residents in the town of Greenburgh last month voted to approve the Westchester Field House, a proposed $7 million, 94,000-square-foot indoor sports complex, Newsday reported. Plans for the facility call for turf playing fields, an indoor three-lane track and a 15,000 square-foot clubhouse. Two-thirds of voters approved the plan at referendum, and the town plans to lease the seven-acre plot to the Tarrytown-based sports facility management firm Game On 365. The firm will pay $260,000 a year in rent and will contribute $125,000 towards environmental cleanup at the site, after Frank’s Nursery, the previous tenant, reportedly contaminated the grounds with chemicals. According to Greenburgh supervisor Paul Feiner, the town will complete environmental reviews and begin site cleanup before starting construction.