After Sandy, Homeowners Raising the Roof in Staten Island

October 22nd, 2013

What happens when homeowners in coastal-areas of Staten Island are unable to obtain flood insurance? What else would they do. Raise the roof!

 New flood maps drawn up by FEMA, along with reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) enacted in 2012, meant that many residents, including the Lauries, must lift up their homes or face dramatically higher flood insurance rates.

So the Lauries hoisted their house 13 feet off the ground, so they never have to worry about flooding — or the skyrocketing insurance rates — again.

Few homes on Staten Island — one of the few places in New York City where middle-class people can afford a small yard and white picket fence — are elevated now, and it’s hard and even a little funny to imagine some of the island’s tiny bungalows propped up on stilts or pilings.

By raising the house, the rate dropped from $9,500 a year to $435 a year.

The Lauries were told their insurance rate could be as much as $9,500 a year if the house wasn’t hiked 13 feet. Before the storm, the couple paid no flood insurance at all, because they had paid off their mortgage and thus weren’t required to purchase it. They’ll pay just $435 per year for insurance when the new, elevated home is completed.