Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) released the following statement announcing the formation of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Home Protection Caucus. The main focus of the group will be to improve the accessibility and the affordability of flood insurance.
"These severe rate increases could affect thousands of communities all across the United States over the next few months. That is why I am proud to serve as Vice Chairman of the Home Protection Caucus which will bring legislators from flood-prone areas together to work on these critical issues. We are united in our efforts to ensure that flood insurance is both accessible and affordable for those who need it most. That is also why I have introduced legislation that would keep NFIP solvent while protecting families, small businesses, and new homebuyers from the dramatic increases that are currently scheduled to take place."
Under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, the maximum rate increase the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) could impose in a given year was raised from 10 to 20 percent, and in some cases up to 25 percent. For those selling a home, rates would be significantly and immediately increased to get homes to the actuarially sound rate. This was done as an attempt to bring the heavily indebted program back to solvency over time.
In February, Palazzo introduced legislation that would provide immediate relief for rising flood insurance rates while keeping the National Flood Insurance Program solvent for future disasters. The package would freeze all rate hikes for one year and slow the growth of rate increases to flood insurance policies over the next ten years. It would also offer flood mitigation tax credits of up to $5,000 for homeowners and small businesses, as well as grant funding to NFIP policy holders who mitigate against future flood risk.
The Home Protection Caucus Co-Chairmen include Congressmen Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), and Senator David Vitter (R-LA).