As House Financial Services Committee members continue preparing a much-anticipated long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said today that she is focusing on affordability of NFIP premiums. Speaking at an insurance industry event, she said her legislative approach includes repealing surcharges and delivering premium assistance to low-income NFIP policyholders.
“I will oppose any efforts to substantially raise premiums or to otherwise add to the affordability burdens that we in Congress are working so hard to tackle,” she said. “Similarly, I will oppose any efforts to weaken grandfathering protections that simply allow homeowners who played by the rules and did everything right to avoid being penalized for changing factors outside of their control.”
“Flood insurance has long been an issue that defies partisanship,” Waters said, adding that she hoped the committee would be able to work in a bipartisan fashion developing legislation “that includes much needed reforms to address affordability, improve mapping, enhance mitigation and ensur[e]that policyholders are protected.” While Congress recently passed its 12th short-term extension to the NFIP since 2017—authorizing the program through Sept. 30—ABA has long supported a long-term renewal that provides certainty to the housing sector.