Another concern was that accepting the grant meant putting a lien on the home. Diamond said that, while the program does require homeowners to stay in their homes for three years after the final grant payment, and there is a financial penalty if they decide not to, there is no formal lien process involved.
“We could’ve decided on a much more onerous approach, but we decided not to, based on feedback,” Diamond said. “That makes people nervous when they hear the word lien. It would’ve been a more intrusive process.”
Homeowners who choose to sell before the three-year period is up must return one-third of the grant money for each year. “We think that’s a modest requirement,” said Diamond. “We want people to have some commitment to staying in the area if we’re going to invest substantial public dollars in repairing their home.”
NY Rising requires homeowners who accept grant money to carry flood insurance, but program documents state that it is the responsibility of the homeowner to alert subsequent owners to the flood insurance requirement. If the new homeowner is not made aware of the mandate, doesn’t get insurance and then a storm hits, the previous homeowner is responsible for reimbursing the federal government for any aid it gives the new homeowner.