N.J., N.Y. storm victims differ over rebuilding, buyouts

In New York, the sentiment is to give homeowners money to rebuild post-Sandy.  In New Jersey, the feelings are more evenly divided between rebuilding and buyouts.

Those are the results of new polls by Siena College and Rutgers-Eagleton.

New Yorkers by a margin of 48-33 percent would prefer to have money in-hand to rebuild rather than have storm-damaged properties bought and turned into open space.

In the Garden State, 43 percent prefer using federal funds to buy out damaged properties for open space while the same percentage wants federal funding given to victims so they can rebuild.

“Jersey Shore residents are just as evenly split as most of the state on the best way to use these Sandy relief funds,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University.

“But those living in the northwest exurban counties do have a preference: there 56 percent prefer buying damaged properties and tearing them down.

“Garden Staters under 30 strongly support rebuilding, while middle-aged and older residents strongly support buyouts. 

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s popularity does not seem to make any difference, perhaps because while he initially focused entirely on rebuilding, more recently he has also supported using federal funds for buyouts.”

The SRI component of the Rutgers-Eagleton/Siena Sandy Relief Poll was conducted April 2–4, 7-10 by random telephone calls to 813 New York adults via landline and cell phones.  It has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll was conducted by telephone April 3-7 with a scientifically selected random sample of 923 New Jersey adults. The sampling error margin is 3.2 percent. N.J., N.Y. storm victims differ over rebuilding, buyouts