Program makes 1st buyout of Sandy-damaged home

A Linden home damaged by Superstorm Sandy is the first to close as part of the state's buyout program. The Superstorm Sandy Blue Acres buyout

The Superstorm Sandy Blue Acres buyout program gives homeowners the option to sell homes damaged by Sandy at pre-storm value in flood-prone areas.

The Superstorm Sandy Blue Acres buyout program gives homeowners the option to sell homes damaged by Sandy at pre-storm value in flood-prone areas. (10/29/15)

LINDEN - A Linden home damaged by Superstorm Sandy is the first to close as part of the state's buyout program.

The Superstorm Sandy Blue Acres buyout program gives homeowners the option to sell homes damaged by Sandy at pre-storm value in flood-prone areas.

Jean and Leonard Kostak, of Linden, are the first to sell their house through the program. The Kostaks say they bought their home in the 1960s and raised three children there, but when the Department of Environmental Protection offered to buy it, they said yes.

"Now we will be out of harm's way ... once in a lifetime is enough," says Leonard.

About 40 homes in Linden are eligible for the buyout.

The program is the first in New Jersey to use funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agency has set aside $100 million for the program. Prior to that, the money came from FEMA.

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