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NACo Action Alert: Urge Senators to Vote Yes on Flood Insurance Affordability Bill


Posted Date: 
January 28, 2014
Contact: 
Julie Ufner, Associate Legislative Director, National Association of Counties

The U.S. Senate has begun debate on the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (S. 1926). The Senate is expected to vote on this measure tomorrow (Jan. 29) or Thursday (Jan. 30). S. 1926 would delay implementation of flood insurance premiums for four years, until after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completes an affordability study and the U.S. Congress can act on those recommendations.

For information on how this legislation would impact counties and the people they serve, please click here to read NACo's new legislative presentation on Biggert-Waters and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). 

Action Needed

  • Call your U.S. Senators and ask them to vote "YES" on the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (S. 1926)
    • Click here to see if your Senator has cosponsored S. 1926
  • Urge your House Members to cosponsor H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 (the House companion bill to S. 1926)
  • Click here to see if your House Member has cosponsored H.R. 3370

Background Information and Why this Issue Matters to Counties

  • The purpose of the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 (BW-12) was to make FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which faced a deficit of $24 billion, solvent. However, BW-12 resulted in some unintended consequences for local governments, residents and businesses. S. 1926 and H.R. 3370 have been introduced to address this issue.
  • A number of the nation's 3,069 counties represented by NACo, both coastal and inland, have stated that their homeowners and business are facing drastically increasing annual NFIP flood insurance premiums due to BW-12's phase-outs of subsidized premium rates. According to the Government Accountability Office, properties in 2,930 counties had subsidized policies as of June, 2012.
  • Many low-lying areas contain lower income and/or middle income resident and business properties.  As insurance rates rise rapidly in certain areas, owners have two options – sell or walk away from mortgages. Since selling properties with high annual insurance premiums is unlikely, people could walk away from existing mortgages, impacting both local economies and housing markets. As more homes become vacant, counties' property values are in turn impacted.
  • As the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which oversees the NFIP program, continues to update its Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), more low-lying areas may begin to face drastic premium rate increases in the future.

For more information on how this legislation would impact counties and the people they serve, please click here to view NACo's new legislative presentation on Biggert-Waters and the National Flood Insurance Program.

Julie Ufner | jufner@naco.org | (202) 942-4269