Rep. Reed Hears Local Flood Mapping, Flood Insurance Concerns from Community
Rep. Tom Reed met Friday with local home and business owners to hear their concerns on flood insurance premium increases being felt across the district and the need for FEMA to finalize flood maps in the area. Reed and the group of about 30 homeowners and local business and elected officials gathered at the public library in Corning to brainstorm a responsible legislative fix that protects homeowners and supports local economic development.
“What I’m hearing from local homeowners is that rate increases are not representing a fair assessment of flood risk and without finalized flood maps from FEMA, households and businesses are left unsure what their future premiums might be,” Reed said. “The bottom line is that reforms need to be implemented in a fair way to provide relief for home and business owners.”
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) underwent significant reforms beginning in 2012. Known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12), many of those reforms are just now being implemented and effects are being felt at the local level. One key provision of the 2012 reforms requires FEMA to conduct an affordability study, which the agency failed to complete before implementing rate increases. Homeowners in flood zones in the 23rd district are feeling the effect of higher insurance premiums. Reed says the House will address these issues in legislation expected in the House this coming week.
“This meeting comes at a perfect time so that I can bring feedback to Washington before the House considers legislation this coming week to alleviate struggles home and business owners are experiencing,” Reed continued. “Homeowners and businesses cannot afford to wait on Congress any longer. We have the opportunity to create a better long-term path for the NFIP which is fair to all taxpayers and deals with this issue sooner rather than later.”