On February 12, U.S. House of Representatives’ Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that the House will “act to protect the flood insurance program but also protect homeowners from unreasonable and unrealistic premium increases” and will consider a modified version of HR 3370 (Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013) the week of February 24.

The Florida Association of Counties issued the following statement:

“We are grateful to Florida's delegation for supporting a solution to address the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Act, especially Representatives Richard Nugent, Gus Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Vern Buchanan and Dennis Ross for their work with Leader Cantor," said Martin County Commissioner & Chair of the FAC Federal Committee, Doug Smith, “Our residents can ill afford these drastic rate hikes. Meaningful reform, including a delay in rate increases and long-term solutions to address the solvency of the National Flood Insurance Program, can allow our real estate market to recover, benefiting our economy and communities without unduly burdening property owners. We are grateful to leader Cantor for placing this issue on the calendar and remain hopeful that all members of Congress will support legislation and ongoing reforms.”

Prior to their Washington, DC visit on February 11 & 12, FAC sent a letter to Speaker Boehner & Chairman Hensarling laying out a FAC’s Roadmap to Affordable Flood Insurance which included:

  • Delayed Rate Increases – Complete Affordability Study
  • Reduced Rate Increases – Implement a Means-Tested Assistance Program
  • Equal Treatment of Pre-Firm (Section 205) Properties – Eliminate Rate Triggers
  • Improved Consumer Protection
  • Improved Accountability for NFIP Operating Expenses; and
  • Expanded Flood Mitigation

“While a good start, a delay in rate hikes for certain property owners is not a cure-all, particularly for Floridians,” said Commissioner Smith. “Florida is recovering from the worst economic recession in recent history and Floridians are ill equipped to bear the consequences created by BW-12. Our Roadmap provides solutions that address the debt incurred by the NFIP without unnecessarily burdening our homeowners.”

A copy of the letter to Speaker Boehner & Chairman Hensarling, along with FAC’s Roadmap to Affordable Flood Insurance, can be found at: http://www.fl-counties.com/advocacy/federal