Flood Insurance Reform Must Address Gaps in Policy, Pew Tells House Leaders

Measures on risk, repeatedly flooded properties missing from pending bill

Flood Insurance Reform Must Address Gaps in Policy, Pew Tells House Leaders

Congress should pass legislation to modernize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), reauthorize it for the long term, and include measures lacking from an NFIP reauthorization bill moving through the House of Representatives. Those requests came in a June 25 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from Laura Lightbody, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ flood-prepared communities initiative.

In the letter, Lightbody applauded a bipartisan bill passed by the House Financial Services Committee on June 13. The bill includes important provisions, such as the creation of a state revolving loan fund for flood mitigation and language that allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to grant aid to communities based on how they are addressing repeatedly flooded properties—by either mitigating risk or moving homeowners.

While that’s a good start, Lightbody noted that the committee’s proposal still lacks key provisions, such as reforms to assess and mitigate repeatedly flooded areas, a nationwide requirement that property sellers disclose flood risk to potential buyers and renters, and assurance that NFIP policies and rates more accurately reflect and communicate risk. Including those provisions is critical to ensuring the long-term stability of the NFIP.

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