Rep. Grimm Joins Coastal-State Colleagues to Launch Home Protection Caucus to Make Flood Insurance More Affordable

May 20, 2013 Issues: Superstorm Sandy

WASHINGTON –  Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-NY) joined Reps. Bill Pascrell (R-NJ), Bill Cassidy M.D. (R-LA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Senator  David Vitter (R-LA) to announce the creation of the bi-cameral, bi-partisan Congressional Home Protection Caucus.  Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), who visited Staten Island in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, will serve as vice-chairman.

“Those impacted by Superstorm Sandy have been faced with an onslaught of uncertainty from another round of FEMA map revisions to the potential for skyrocketing flood insurance rates. There has to be a better way.  As a Congress we must do more to find solutions that make flood insurance more affordable and accessible, in order to help homeowners protect their greatest investment.  As a co-chair of the Congressional Home Protection Caucus, I will work with my colleagues on common-sense reforms that bring more certainty and stability to homeowners in Staten Island and Brooklyn, and throughout the nation,” said Rep. Grimm.

"As New Jersey continues to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy's devastation, my priority will continue to be ensuring victims have the resources they need to rebuild, including readily available and affordable flood insurance.  I've spent my career fighting to mitigate the persistent flooding problem in my district, so I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to protect homeowners and their families from further devastation," said Rep. Pascrell.

“Flood insurance is critical not only to South Louisiana but to coastal communities across the country. This is why I am working to make it both available and affordable. The Biggert-Waters Act was the only way to make it available. Unfortunately, it has been implemented in a way by FEMA to make the insurance unaffordable, that’s why Senator Vitter and Congressmen Richmond, Grimm, Pascrell and Palazzo and I started the Congressional Home Protection Caucus, with the express goal of promoting market-based solutions to make flood insurance affordable for coastal communities. This bi-partisan coalition will fight for real, common-sense solutions to protect home owners and their investments,” said Rep. Cassidy.

“I’ve been actively talking with folks across Louisiana and one thing is clear – folks are outraged by the magnitude of the potential rate increases. One of my top focuses in the Senate right now is working for a solution.  We must make sure that people who have been following the rules aren’t priced out of their homes because their flood insurance rates increase so dramatically. The  primary focus of the Home Protection Caucus will be to increase awareness of the need for Congress to immediately address flood insurance increases and bring voices together to work towards that solution,” said Senator Vitter.

“We have a responsibility and obligation to be fierce advocates for the families in the gulf coast and communities along the northeastern coast. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we prioritize effective solutions that protect home owners who have already endured a great deal,” said Rep. Richmond.

For many Americans, homeownership is their single biggest investment. The first priority of the Congressional Home Protection Caucus will be to ensure the promotion of market-based solutions that enhance the accessibility and affordability of flood insurance for all Americans. Biggert-Waters continued the National Flood Insurance Program and made it accessible to homeowners, however implementation of this Act has largely made it unaffordable to some homeowners. The result has devalued the investments made in properties and homes; radically increasing the cost of flood insurance for policyholders.

The Congressional Home Protection Caucus believes we need transparency in the development of FIRMs that FEMA uses to assign risk in flood zone areas and we need stability in the real estate market as the investment in homeownership is in danger of deteriorating as a result of dramatic increases in premiums.