ATLANTA – Norfolk Southern has established an interim fund that will backstop the value of homes sold in East Palestine, Ohio, and some surrounding communities, the railroad said yesterday.
The Value Assurance Program will compensate home sellers for any difference between a home’s value and its selling price in the wake of the toxic Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine. Residents who have sought to sell their homes and move out of the community have raised concerns about declining property values after the hazardous materials spill related to the derailment.
This announcement comes as Norfolk Southern is working toward a long-term program as part of broader commitments the company made in March 2023.
“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,” CEO Alan Shaw said in a statement. “This program aims to give homeowners the reassurance they need.”
Through the interim program, residents in the defined program area who have sold their homes since Feb. 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.
The interim program will also be available for future sales as Norfolk Southern develops the full long-term program in concert with stakeholders involved in that legal process.
Eligible property owners will work with independent appraisers to assess the value of their homes, and with the Norfolk Southern Family Assistance Center (FAC) after the sale to recoup any difference.