Today Congressman Green voted in favor of H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act. This bill is critical for homeowners in the 29th Congressional District who rely on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to protect their hard-earned investments in their homes. The NFIP is the primary source of flood insurance for Americans and approximately 5.6 million homes and businesses nationwide rely on NFIP.
Rep. Green stated, "In our district, in Houston and East Harris County, Texas, flood insurance is a top priority. While I support the bill, I am especially supportive of language that I first championed in 2007, that consists of a limited, five year phase-in of flood insurance premiums for low-income homeowners or renters whose primary residence is placed within a flood plain through an updating of flood insurance program maps."
Green's amendment provides for a limited, five year phase-in of flood insurance premiums for low-income homeowners or renters whose primary residence ends up newly placed within a flood plain after an update of flood insurance program maps. In the language advocated by Rep. Green, homes can be valued at no more than 75% of the median home value for the state in which the property is located. In Texas, that amounts to approximately $143,000 in 2011, which is higher than the average value of homes in the 29th Congressional District. This provision helps new flood plain residents by not having to immediately pay expensive flood insurance which can be a huge financial burden.
The Harris County Flood Control District implements flood control measures by maintaining bayous, building retention basins, and implementing drainage features, but even the best flood control can be overrun by a particularly bad storm. The bill reauthorizes the NFIP for five years, which is important to residents who need the stability and peace of mind that this provision allows.