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California state legislator Ben Allen has a controversial potential solution: a revolving loan program, where California counties and communities will buy up coastal homes. Then the state would rent these properties to the homeowner or to another resident, and use that rent to pay off the mortgage until inhabiting the property becomes too risky.
This buyback program would be the first of its kind to operate on such a large scale, and could help assuage a home insurance crisis in the making.
Why This Matters: The threat faced by coastal homes across the nation could create another mortgage crisis. If flooding drives down home prices and homeowners can’t find ways to make repairs on houses that are worth far less than their outstanding debt, the houses will have to be repossessed by lenders.
Buying back houses on the West Coast could be particularly complicated. Homeowners may not participate, and the high value of many of these homes places a sizeable burden on public funds.
But optimism remains about this buy-to-rent project. If the state buys the coastal property and bolsters the coastline through seawalls, the value of the properties will increase and entice homeowners to stay.
Long-term, making these houses public property gives communities more time and options to thoroughly plan for the destruction of condemned homes and for municipalities to prepare for the eventual loss of property taxes.
Senator Allen told NPR: “Nobody wants to come to terms with what’s happening. We want this to be here forever. We want to be able to walk along this beach and enjoy these beautiful houses and this beautiful view forever. But you can’t beat the sea.”
It’s spring in Paris, they are still struggling with COVID, and yet thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Paris and numerous other French cities to protest climate change. The French legislature is considering a law to impose tougher measures to combat climate change, but many believe the proposals are not sufficient and so they staged marches in Nancy, Toulouse, Rennes, Lyon, Grenoble, as seen in social media posts.
Why This Matters: Because of the Paris Agreement, France is associated with climate change progress.
As California’s drought conditions are worsening, Nestle is pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino forest. State water officials have drafted a cease-and-desist order to force the company to stop overpumping from Strawberry Creek, which provides drinking water for about 750,000 people.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer In the Biden administration’s first 100 days, the climate crisis and environmental issues have been at the forefront of the administration’s agenda. As Environment America writes in their progress report, “despite the need to rebuild many federal agencies and tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the Biden administration has already taken […]
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