Regarding Flood Plain Surveys

From Caroline Nagy

Hi neighbors,

Later this summer I’ll be obtaining an Elevation Certificate for my home on 2nd st to get a better understanding of its elevation as compared to Troy’s current flood plain map. If you don’t have an elevation certificate already, there are very good reasons to get one, even though it’s not currently required for most homes in Washington Park (longer explanation as to why below). 

I am working with a surveyor who has offered to provide a group discount if we schedule multiple elevation certificate surveys in the neighborhood on the same day. If you’re interested (or if you’d just like to talk about flood insurance more), please let me know, thanks!

Have a wonderful day,


Flood insurance/elevation certificate explainer:

Unless you’ve built or made substantial renovations to your home since Troy adopted its first flood map in the 1980’s, your home is assumed to be out of compliance with modern floodplain regulations. While all new construction has its flood insurance rate determined by elevation (in what is called a “full-risk rate”) older homes are instead are charged a “subsidized rate,” which is a flat rate and doesn’t require an Elevation Certificate to calculate.

Over the last 10 years, Congress has been moving to phase out subsidized rates and move everyone to elevation-based pricing. Current dueling bills in the House limit subsidized rate increases to either 9% or 18% annually, but regardless of the ultimate number, the result will be the same: subsidized rates will increase every year until everyone is better off getting an elevation certificate and paying full-risk rates. However, what we’ve found (in NYC, but quite possibly here too) is that many homeowners are better off switching to full-risk rates today.

In my professional life, I advise the NYC nonprofit I work for and elected officials on flood insurance affordability issues. I co-authored an affordability study with RAND that found that 76% of NYC homeowners who had been paying subsidized rates were immediately able to lower their flood insurance premiums by obtaining an elevation certificate and converting their flood insurance rates from subsidized to full-risk pricing. While I can’t guarantee similar results here, it’s important to get an elevation certificate and know what we’re facing.