New York State Passes Flood Risk Disclosure Bill
ALBANY, NY — The New York State Legislature voted today in favor of A1967/S5400, a bill which will require sellers to inform home buyers as to whether a property has previously flooded. According to a report, in 2021 New York, 7,645 homes were purchased that were estimated to have been previously flooded; and the estimated annual flood damages for these sold homes is over $23 million.
The following is a reaction from Joel Scata, Attorney for Water Initiatives at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):
“The legislature decided last year that renters deserved flood disclosure. This bill brings that same protection to home buyers, who need to know their flood risks. Disclosure of past flood damages is currently costing New Yorkers hundreds of thousands of dollars and a home that has flooded once is likely to be hit again–so this bill goes a long way towards helping give home buyers information they need to make informed decisions about one of their biggest financial investments; their home.
“Across the United States, the majority of states lack laws that require flood damages be fully disclosed to home buyers. The consequences can be financially ruinous to those who unwittingly purchase a flood-prone home. Too many homeowners learn of their property’s propensity to flood only after suffering through multiple disasters. That's why New York State's decision to disclose these risks is so important.”
Cortney Koenig Worrall, President and CEO of Waterfront Alliance said:
"Knowing the flood risk and history of a home is a critical part of the decision to purchase a home. Today, the New York Legislature passed a historic flood disclosure bill that would guarantee a flood risk right-to-know for prospective homebuyers across the State, building off the success of last year's renter disclosure bill.
"This legislation amends a loophole few people were aware of – a loophole that allowed sellers to avoid revealing anything about how flood waters may have previously damaged the property. New York State is now on its way to becoming a nationwide leader in flood disclosure. Waterfront Alliance and the Rise to Resilience Coalition strongly encourage Governor Hochul to expeditiously sign this legislation into law as we head into 2023 hurricane season."
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law, and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health, and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd). Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.