Low Income Public Housing On The Barrier Islands?

Have you been struck, as I have, by the sad tales in the press over the past couple of weeks of the suffering of the residents of the high rise low income public housing projects in Coney Island and the Rockaways?

These areas have lost electricity for weeks, and much is still not back on.  Many stores have been closed and have still not reopened.  With elevators out of commission, residents have had to walk up to their apartments,often ten or even twenty flights up.  And in high rises the water also doesn't work without electricity.  These are very serious problems, even more so for the elderly or disabled.

Excuse me, but how could it possibly be that we have high-rise, electricity-dependent low income public housing projects sitting on the barrier islands?  (Yes, Coney Island and the Rockaways are barrier islands.  Look at that map in the previous post.  Coney Island is right at the top of the red pin; the Rockaway Peninsula is immediately to its right.)

It is a given that a barrier island can be overwashed by the ocean in a big storm at any time, and over the course of 50 to 100 years it becomes almost certain that it will happen at least once. What possible excuse is there for housing the dependent poor, elderly and disabled in electricity-dependent high rise buildings in these places?  This is a very clear example of the total inability of government entities to make rational decisions.

Of course, these buildings were built about 20 to 50 years ago.  Nobody's still around to be held accountable.

As to the other people with homes on the barrier islands, I'm sorry but you should not have a house there unless you are prepared to lose it, including accepting the financial consequence of the loss.  And I say this as someone who used to own a house on Fire Island.  (On that map, our house was right about where you see the "ay" in "Great South Bay."  We sold it in the late 90s.)  I was never comfortable owning on the barrier beach, and was relieved when we sold the house.  My neighbors thought I was crazy. Many had summered there their whole lives without ever having a problem, although much of Fire Island had been destroyed in the great hurricane of 1938.  This time, I understand that most every house in our former community suffered at least  some damage, although the town was not wiped out.

Anyway, the idea that the government can just use the infinite credit card to make it so no one with a house at the barrier island needs to take any loss from a hurricane -- that just can't work.  Sorry.  We'll see how long the current illusion lasts.