Homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy up for auction on Long Island

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (WABC) -- Bargain hunters have started to buy homes on Long Island.

Some 700 homes heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy were bought by the state from homeowners.

Now, the Superstorm Sandy homes are being bought up in an auction at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge.

"I got a waterfront house in Island Park," one buyer said.

"This program is to sell properties that the existing homeowners cannot elevate or repair and to bring in new owners that can do that work," said Rebecca Sinclair, Office of Storm Recovery.

New York State spent nearly $90 million recently buying up damaged waterfront homes in Nassau and Suffolk at pre-storm fair market value.

"All the money that we collect through this auction goes back into our New York rising programs so that could go into further acquisition. It could go into repair money," said Jon Kaiman, of New York Rising.

Tuesday, they're auctioning off Nassau County homes. There are about 80 of them. Wednesday will be Suffolk County with about 70 homes.

"Today we're just kind of seeing what the opportunity is. We're really interested in Suffolk County so we're just seeing how this whole thing plays out," said Gary Onorato, a Huntington resident.

For those who live in the neighborhoods who have to look at these homes every day, they're happy something new and beautiful will be going in.

Although it's hard sometimes to think about the people who used in homes like these.

"We're happy. I hope somebody good bought it. We're looking for good neighbors," said Kathy Ruhle, a Massapequa resident.

"My best friend lived next door so it's kind of sad. I guess I'm happy for them. I don't know," said Melissa Comis, a Massapequa resident.

The auction for the Suffolk County homes will be Wednesday May 20th at the Hyatt Regency on Motor Parkway in Hauppauge. Bidding begins around 9 a.m.

For a complete list of Suffolk county properties visit:
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