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Waters Leads Coalition to Address Flood Insurance Rate Increases

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has spearheaded a broad, bipartisan coalition of 95 Members of the House of Representatives in introducing a legislative solution to fix the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and ensure changes are implemented affordably.

The  Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370), calls for a four-year delay to the program, and requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to complete an affordability study and propose a framework that addresses affordability issues. A companion measure has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

“The Biggert-Waters legislation was designed to address a $24 billion deficit and ensure millions of American homeowners could continue to purchase flood insurance. But FEMA’s poor implementation, inaccurate mapping and incomplete data has led to unreasonable and unimaginable increases in premiums. From the moment I learned of the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters legislation, I have made clear that I would lead the effort to resolve the problems that have resulted,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee. “Today we have reached a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the best way to repair the National Flood Insurance Program. This legislation would ensure that FEMA undertakes program changes in a way that will not cause harm, by delaying implementation until it provides Congress the facts on how rate increases will affect homeowners. It will also give us the information we need to go through the program piece-by-piece and fix any outstanding affordability issues.”

The bipartisan deal comes after several weeks of negotiations with Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. On October 9, in the midst of the government shutdown, Waters convened a bipartisan meeting of nearly 20 House Members, as well as Senate staff, to build consensus around an agreement to delay and fix the program.

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