U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) voted today in favor of H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which passed the House by a vote of 306-91. The bipartisan legislation will bring relief to tens of thousands of homeowners in Florida and around the nation trying to afford and maintain flood insurance coverage.
"This is not a perfect bill, but it goes a long way in addressing the main unintended consequence of the well-meaning Biggert-Waters Act -- the unacceptable cost increases for some homeowners caused by uncapped rates," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "The consumer protections, affordability goals, and requirements of FEMA that are contained in H.R. 3370 will help give certainty to hard-working Americans, reduce federal spending over the long term, and put the flood insurance program on a path to long-term viability."
Important components of H.R. 3370 include new rate increase caps for most homeowners at 18 percent, which will prevent many of them from experiencing skyrocketing annual premiums; the repeal of so-called "triggers' so that transportability of flood policies from home seller to buyer are handled fairly and do not disrupt the housing market; and the reinstatement of "grandfathering', meaning that homeowners who played by the rules and built to code will no longer have to worry about catastrophic rate increases as a result of remapping.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will also be held accountable for its future mapping and affordability study efforts.
Two weeks ago, Rep. Wasserman Schultz went to the House floor and urged her Republican colleagues to set aside partisan differences and work with Democrats to come up with common sense legislation, after the GOP prevented a vote on the measure. "This compromise legislation demonstrates that when we put aside 'my way or the highway' politics, we can find common ground that benefits our constituents."