Green Provision Included in Flood Insurance Reform Act
November 20, 2003
Washington, DC - Congressman Gene Green announced that H.R. 253, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2003, includes a provision and a fourth option for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make adequate offers when buying out the homes of flood victims. The provision would allow communities to offer replacement value to flood victims if the fair market value is inadequate.
The National Flood Insurance Program is absolutely essential for the financial security and quality of life for thousands of Harris County residents, said Green. I am pleased that this legislation includes my provision to give flood victims the right price for their home.
In 2001, during the Tropical Storm Allison buyouts in Houston, FEMA scrambled to find funding from HUD programs and other sources because fair market value offers sometimes did not enable flood victims to purchase a comparable home outside the floodplain.
When FEMA came in to do large numbers of buyouts in our district after Tropical Storm Allison, we had problems ensuring that folks could afford another home, added Green. Its bad enough to lose your home and all its contents during a flood, but current law makes it impossible for some of these folks to get back on their feet. My amendment will give these folks the assistance they need.
H.R. 253, the National Flood Insurance Reform Act, reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program, which provides government backed flood insurance to 450,000 Texans through 2008. The bill also gives FEMA the ability to offer mitigation assistance and buyout offers to homeowners of severe repetitive loss properties. Severe repetitive loss properties are defined as having over four past flood insurance claims of at least $5,000 each, four future claims of at least $3,000 each, or two or more claims exceeding the value of the home. HR253 will be considered by the House today under Suspension of the Rules and is expected to pass the House by a wide margin.