Legislation will reduce disaster losses and save lives by shifting the federal focus to pre-disaster mitigation and resilient construction
WASHINGTON – May 13, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today applauded Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Albio Sires, D-N.J., for the introduction of bipartisan legislation to focus federal disaster policy on preventing losses.
The bipartisan National Mitigation Investment Act of 2016 will reform federal disaster policy to encourage pre-disaster mitigation and resilient construction. The introduction of the Act comes as a House Subcommittee begins hearings today on the rapidly rising cost of natural disasters for the federal government.
The National Mitigation Investment Act provides additional hazard mitigation grants to states with qualifying building code systems following a natural disaster, a powerful incentive for states to modernize building codes. Additionally, the legislation will authorize a first of its kind pilot-program of code enforcement grants to states and localities to defray the costs that often prohibit enacting strong building codes. The bill will also authorize a study, commenced through the National Advisory Council, to examine costs and losses from natural disasters, identify how disaster assistance is being used, and determine ways to best mitigate ahead of catastrophes.
“The federal government significantly overspends on post-disaster assistance compared to pre-disaster mitigation, waiting for the next disaster to strike while doing little to fortify our defenses in the face of a rising number of extreme weather events,” said AIA President Russell Davidson, FAIA. “The National Mitigation Investment Act will correct this backwards approach by incentivizing states, localities, and individuals to make proactive investments in mitigation.”
Testifying at Thursday’s hearing is a panel of governmental and private sector witnesses, including National Mitigation Investment Act sponsor Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., FEMA Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon, BuildStrong Coalition member Kevin Mickey of the National Institute of Building Sciences, National Association of Counties President Sallie Clark, and Eric Nelson of Travelers Insurance, who is testifying on behalf of the BuildStrong Coalition.
About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.
Contact: John Schneidawind