U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced that today, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act that she has co-sponsored to delay the most aggressive rate increases and fix major flaws in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform law to make the National Flood Insurance Program affordable, accessible and self-sustainable. The bill now heads to the House for a vote.
Specifically, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act would delay the most aggressive rate increases until FEMA addresses the affordability of flood insurance premiums for low-income and middle class families, and understands how rates will impact individual policyholders and the program at large. It also requires FEMA to certify that their flood maps are accurate and ensures that local levees and other flood control structures are treated fairly in the mapping process. Other provisions include reimbursement to qualifying homeowners for successful map appeals and the establishment of a Flood Insurance Advocate within FEMA to aid and assist policyholders. On the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Senator Gillibrand took to the Senate floor pressing her colleagues to pass this bill and get relief into the hands of those who desperately need it.
"This important, bipartisan bill would postpone the potentially disastrous flood insurance rate increases coming into effect as a result of the Biggert-Waters flood insurance reform law," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "Some homeowners -- even as they rebuild -- have started seeing rates increase. This could cause many New Yorkers to be forced out of the homes and communities they love. This bill would simply delay the premium increases set to go into effect until after FEMA has completed a study and provided Congress with a plan to make rates more affordable. Our families working so hard to rebuild deserve nothing less."