For Immediate Release: September 29, 2016
Contact: William Gerlich, 212-390-8860
SMARTERSAFER APPLAUDS REPS. ROYCE AND BLUMENAUER FOR INTRODUCING TAXPAYER FRIENDLY NFIP REFORM LEGISLATION
The Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act Would Help Mitigate Risk To Repeatedly Flooded Properties
WASHINGTON, D.C. — SmarterSafer.org — a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates — today applauded U.S. Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) for introducing H.R. 6196, the Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act, which will help mitigate the financial resources expended by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on claims for properties flooded multiple times.
In a statement, SmarterSafer.org said, “The National Flood Insurance Program is sinking under a $23 billion debt — largely due to the growing number of properties that are repeatedly flooded and rebuilt without being made more resilient. This bill is a good first step towards proactively reducing flood risk rather than simply rebuilding properties, and could help ensure that those communities most at risk take action before a storm strikes.
“Congress should include this bipartisan proposal as part of a comprehensive reform package to the NFIP. With the program up for reauthorization next year, this and other measures will help encourage resiliency by promoting buyouts, elevating buildings and enhancing natural defenses that help buffer from storms. The Senate should also act quickly to pass the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act—a bill that unanimously passed the House last spring and would remove barriers to people purchasing flood coverage through the private sector.
“These commonsense reforms will help put the NFIP on sounder financial footing while better protecting lives and property. We would like to thank Representatives Royce and Blumenauer for introducing this important bill that helps communities better prepare for the growing risks they face.”
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.