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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

House Approves Green Amendment to Protect Homeowners Against Floods

September 27, 2007
Press Release
Washington, D.C.– Today, the House of Representatives approved by voice vote an amendment sponsored by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) to help low-income families purchase critical flood insurance for their homes.  The amendment was approved to H.R. 3121, the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act, which passed the House by a vote of 263-146.


“I believe my amendment will bring both security and peace of mind to hard-working families in East Harris County and across the nation that need a helping hand to get the protection their homes deserve,” Green said. 


HR 3121 requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct a thorough review of the nation’s flood maps.  The updates will identify previously un-designated homes as being located within flood-prone areas. Such a designation can be a burden for low-income families who must purchase expensive flood insurance as a result.


Green’s amendment provides for a limited, five year phase-in of flood insurance premiums for low-income homeowners or renters whose primary residence is placed within a flood plain through an updating of flood insurance program maps.   These homes can be valued at no more than 75% of the median home value for the state in which the property is located. In Texas, that amounts to approximately $85,500 in 2007, which is higher than the median value of homes in the 29th Congressional District.


Tropical Storm Allison swept through Texas in 2001, causing substantial flood damage to more than 15,000 Harris County homes and businesses. Though some of these properties were protected by National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) coverage, some area residents could not afford to purchase a policy and suffered devastating financial losses. 


“My amendment is designed to make the NFIP program more affordable for low-income homeowners, increase participation in the program, and decrease the likelihood of a taxpayer bailout in the event of a flood,” Green said.