Full course description
Government response to repetitive flood events has been predominantly reactive, including in rebuilding, repair, and mitigation measures. Recently, managed retreat has gained more attention as a viable alternative: The government buys properties in a hazardous area from willing homeowners, who then relocate out of harm’s way. This case study discusses home buyouts in New York State after Superstorm Sandy. It lays out the structure of the buyout program, including its primary requirement that homeowners volunteer to sell their properties and relocate. It then describes potential obstacles to maximum participation from the standpoints of various actors and asks how those obstacles can be overcome and how managed retreat could become more efficient by relocating more residents out of hazardous areas.