Understanding the major implications of skyrocketing flood insurance rates, BASE has been working over the past several months in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of REALTORS, and the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance to push for sustainable reform.
Last night, HR 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 passed the House with a vote of 306-91. The issue now returns to the Senate, which had previously passed legislation to delay increases for four years.
Thanks to bipartisan support, the House passed flood insurance legislation that will benefit home buyers and home owners and provide a boost to home building and remodeling, while providing certainty and financial stability to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
"By providing predictable premium increases, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) will prevent home values from dropping and make the NFIP stronger and more effective for years to come," said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.
H.R. 3370 will help address some of the costly and unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, including huge premium spikes and impacts on the sale, construction and remodeling of homes across the nation.
The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act will:
•Provide a more affordable rate structure for policyholders.
•Repeal the rate increases from the sale or transfer homes to full actuarial rates.
•Create more accurate flood maps.
•Provide reimbursement for successful consumer map appeals.
•Return the "substantial improvement threshold" that triggers a higher flood insurance rate to the historic 50 percent level of a structure's fair market value, which would preserve significant remodeling activity.
•Reinstate an exemption in 53 communities nationwide for basements that are built in a flood-proof manner.
The bill was successful due to wide, bipartisan support from a range of Congress, including Reps. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.).
Special thank you to Rep. Mike McIntyre and his office for their leadership on this issue.
For a complete breakdown of the more pertinent sections of the bill click here