Amendment Focused on Mitigating Flood Risk at Multifamily Properties


WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 16, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — On September 10, Representative Dan Donovan (R-NY) offered a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) related amendment during the relevant House subcommittee’s markup of the overall Homeland Security Authorization bill. The amendment passed with no opposition and would go to great lengths in assisting multifamily owners in preparing and mitigating against future flood risks. It also seeks to address many of the criticisms of the agency’s handling of the claims process in New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.

The amendment would allow owners to benefit from flood insurance premium relief for taking action against flood risk. To help property owners understand their mitigation options, it would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue long overdue flood risk guidelines within a sixty day period.

NMHC/NAA are strongly supporting and advocating for the amendment. Importantly, Representative Donovan has also introduced the measure as a standalone bill in the full House.

Congress passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) in 2014. The Act directed FEMA to establish guidelines for property owners to mitigate flood risk in residential buildings. This includes apartment buildings or row homes that are unable to use traditional mitigation options such as elevation.

The statute granted FEMA one year from enactment of HFIAA to issue the mitigation guidance. But, to date, FEMA has been unable to do so. FEMA officials have indicated that they are in the process of continuing to write the overdue flood risk guidelines and that further actuarial work is being done.

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