Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, has led 26 of her colleagues from both sides of the aisle in writing the Federal Emergency Management Agency about flood insurance rates.
“A small percentage of homeowners are learning that they may be subjected to flood insurance rates that are ten, a hundred, and in some cases, more than a thousand times higher than their current subsidized rates,” the lawmakers wrote in the July 1 letter. “These rates, which are upwards of $28,000 per year, are unaffordable and could have devastating impacts on these homeowners and their communities if they are implemented,” the letter said.
Waters co-authored a law, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, that FEMA has begun to implement.
“While Congress has shown it is willing to act to address these issues, we believe that FEMA has the authority to administratively address some of the affordability issues arising from Biggert-Waters,” the lawmakers’ letter added. “We urge you to use whatever discretion you have in order to address these affordability concerns. To the extent you lack such discretion, we ask that you provide legislative recommendations to Congress on how to address this issue.”
There also is a move in Congress to attempt replace the National Flood Insurance Program with private insurance.