FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: William Gerlich, 212-390-8860
WASHINGTON, D.C. — SmarterSafer.org, a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates, applauded the U.S. House of Representatives today for passing the 21st Century Flood Reform Act (H.R. 2874). The bill reauthorizes and reforms the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is billions of dollars in debt and set to expire on December 8th. In a statement, SmarterSafer said:
“This year’s historic hurricane season has pushed the nation’s debt-ridden flood insurance program past the point of bankruptcy once again, so we applaud the House for passing a legislative package that reforms the NFIP to ensure the program is financially sustainable for the future. SmarterSafer is particularly pleased that the House adopted many of the measures outlined in our NFIP proposal, such as investing in mapping and mitigation, addressing affordability and providing consumer choice in the flood insurance marketplace. As the bill moves to the Senate, our coalition will work closely to ensure that the final reauthorization package includes additional provisions that require property level data in mapping, nature-based community mitigation measures, continued movement toward risk-based rates and ways to convert affordability assistance into mitigation where cost-effective.
“Putting these reforms into place will help Americans reduce damage from future storms while ensuring that the federal program remains viable for years to come. We thank Chairman Hensarling, Majority Whip Scalise and Rep. Duffy for their leadership on this issue, and look forward to working with the Senate to advance these critical goals.”
SmarterSafer.org is a national coalition that is made up of a diverse chorus of voices united in favor of environmentally responsible, fiscally sound approaches to natural catastrophe policy that promote public safety. The coalition believes that the federal government has a role in encouraging and helping homeowners to undertake mitigation efforts to safeguard their homes against natural disasters. At the same time, the coalition opposes measures that put people’s lives at risk at the expense of taxpayers. Measures such as subsidizing artificially low rates for homeowners’ insurance policies help to encourage construction in environmentally sensitive and unsafe areas. The coalition is working to ensure that Congress does not incentivize people to live in harm’s way in places prone to hurricanes and floods.