Effort to Rein in Federal Flood Insurance Program Causing Alarm
"Sharp increases in federal flood insurance rates are distressing coastal homeowners from Hawaii to New England and are starting to hurt property values and housing sales in areas just beginning to recover from the recession, according to residents and legislators," report Lizette Alvarez and Campbell Robertson.
On October 1st, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act began to remove the subsidies that held down flood insurance rates for more than a million homeowners across the U.S.
“'The homeowners and business owners simply cannot withstand these gargantuan hikes,' said Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat and member of the bipartisan group of lawmakers pushing a bill to delay the increase. 'There is a lot of panic about this.'”
"Still, in recent years, costly flooding disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, have left the [National Flood Insurance Program] $25 billion in debt, a situation that will most likely worsen because of climate change and coastal overdevelopment," add Alvarez and Robertson. "And almost everyone involved agrees that the issue is not whether to change the program, but how to soften the impact on those hit hardest by the cost increases."