Norfolk Southern (NS) on Sept. 18 announced an interim Value Assurance Program (VAP) to “compensate any reduction in value of eligible residential properties located in East Palestine, Ohio, and some surrounding communities following the February derailment.”
This announcement, the Class I railroad says, comes as NS is working toward a long-term program as part of broader commitments the company made in March 2023.
Through the interim VAP, those residents in the defined program area (map below), who have sold their homes since February 3, currently have their homes on the market, or will put their homes on the market, are eligible to be compensated for any difference between their home’s market value and its sale price, according to NS.
According to NS, the interim VAP will also be available for future sales as the railroad develops the full long-term program in concert with stakeholders involved in that legal process. At the time of the long-term VAP announcement, the interim plan will end, and the long-term VAP requirements will apply.
The interim VAP, and any monetary benefits received by those participating in the interim VAP, is available to eligible property owners. Eligible property owners will work with independent appraisers to assess the value of their home, and with the NS Family Assistance Center (FAC) after the sale to recoup any difference.
“This is another step in fulfilling our promise to East Palestine to make it right. Norfolk Southern is steadfast in keeping our commitments, including protecting the home values of the community,” said NS President and CEO Alan H. Shaw. “This program aims to give homeowners the reassurance they need.”
Residents can learn more about the interim program geography, all eligibility requirements, and the specific steps required for program participation on the VAP website, materials available at the FAC, or by contacting the VAP Administrator via [email protected] or (877) 270-6970.