December 12, 2013

Senator Warren Renews Call for Delay in Flood Maps Implementation

Video of Senator Warren's Remarks is Available Here

Senator Warren's Remarks as Prepared for Delivery Are Available Here 

WASHINGTON, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke on the Senate floor on Wednesday to renew her call for a delay in the implementation of new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps, and to urge her colleagues to immediately take up, debate, and vote to pass the Homeowner Flood Affordability Act.  Many homeowners in Massachusetts and across the country are facing unexpected and unaffordable rate hikes as a result of the new maps.

"Families purchase flood insurance to prevent the loss of their homes," said Senator Warren. "But now many families fear that the price of flood insurance could be just as devastating as any storm...Congress changed the national flood program to move toward a more market-based system that more accurately reflects the true costs and risks of flood damage. This is a well-intentioned bill, but unfortunately homeowners are being blindsided by high rate increases and new flood zone maps."

"The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act that I have proudly cosponsored will provide relief to homeowners who built their homes to code and were later remapped into a higher risk area... Homeowners are facing flood insurance premium increases that can cost $500, $1,000, even more per month. Most hardworking families and seniors don't have that kind of extra money on hand to spend on flood insurance premiums they never knew they were going to need... I'm pleased to join colleagues on both sides of the aisle in this call for commonsense delay which will give FEMA time to get this right."

The Homeowner Flood Affordability Act will protect millions of homeowners from facing huge flood insurance premium rate hikes and require FEMA to complete an affordability study and propose real solutions to address affordability issues before any flood insurance premiums can be raised in the future. The bill includes a provision to compensate homeowners who successfully appeal their inclusion in new flood maps and are granted new elevation certificates, which Senator Warren advocated at a recent Banking Committee hearing with FEMA.