$5B bill for NYC landlords who stormproof their properties

To get lowest FEMA insurance rates, 87K ground floor units would have to be eliminated

From left: Sandy damage in Mantaloking, NJ and Rockaway, NY
From left: Sandy damage in Mantaloking, NJ and Rockaway, NY

New Yorkers who are looking to stormproof their homes could be facing high costs to do so in the near future.

Complying with federal guidelines for those living in a flood zone will cost more than $5 billion, according to Crain’s. While large-scale developers might be able to invest the millions needed in storm proofing their properties, middle class home owners, landlords of rent stabilized buildings as well as the New York City Housing Authority will have more trouble making the improvements, which will result into higher premiums for them.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, however, does not differentiate between large apartment towers — which account for 61 percent of the homes in the city’s flood zones — and other homes.

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Roughly 87,000 ground floor apartments are at risk, according to the magazine. To get the lowest premiums, landlords would have to get rid of the ground floor units because everyone  has to adhere to the same guidelines.

FEMA released new flood-zone maps last year. The maps hadn’t been updated since 1983. As a result, the number of at-risk buildings was doubled to about 70,000, endangering about 250,000 units. [Crain’s] — Claire Moses