FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: William Gerlich, 212-390-8860
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 25, 2017)— SmarterSafer.org today announced that Habitat for Humanity has become a member of the coalition, joining the effort to press Congress to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is $25 billion in debt and is set to expire on Sept. 30.
The announcement follows SmarterSafer.org’s letter to the Senate Banking Committee urging it to include several major reforms absent in their recently introduced NFIP reauthorization legislation. While the bill includes important improvements in mapping and mitigation, it falls short of putting the program on sound financial footing.
“The SmarterSafer coalition’s work is both urgent and important, and so we look forward to coming together with other member organizations to advance flood insurance reform,” said Christopher Ptomey, senior director of Government Relations at Habitat for Humanity International. “Our first priority for NFIP reform is to better protect the families living in the affordable homes that Habitat builds in more than 1,300 communities nationwide. We urge the Senate Banking Committee to prioritize mitigation assistance and affordability for low-income households in their measure.”
SmarterSafer added: “We are pleased to have Habitat for Humanity join our coalition to help ensure that the NFIP remains sustainable for years to come. Together, we are calling on the Senate Banking Committee to amend their current NFIP legislation to allow for consumers to have access to more affordable options by expanding the marketplace to private sector insurers, while also continuing to move toward risk-based rates and greater mitigation investments. We look forward to working with the Senate in the upcoming days to advance these necessary reforms.”
By becoming a member of the SmarterSafer coalition, Habitat for Humanity joins the group’s diverse chorus of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates currently pushing for Congress to comprehensively reform the NFIP. SmarterSafer previously released a NFIP reform proposal, which recommends that any reauthorization should prioritize the following reforms:
- Focus more on proactive resiliency measures that will lessen the amount of damage when storms hit.
- Update and improve mapping techniques to ensure accurate, up-to-date risk analysis so that rates can accurately reflect risk.
- Allow consumers choice in flood insurance policies by ensuring private insurers have access to the flood insurance market, giving consumers access to better rates and higher coverage limits.
- Continue to move towards a system of risk-based rates for all properties while providing assistance to lower-income policyholders, with an emphasis on subsidizing mitigation instead of rates.