FEMA Flood Maps
I recently helped to successfully resolve a dispute between Park Mesa Heights homeowners and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). As a result the homeowners in the area, which is part of the Hyde Park neighborhood in Los Angeles, will not be required to purchase costly flood insurance.
The Park Mesa Heights area had recently been designated by FEMA as a flood plain for the very first time, but this designation was questionable because the area had never flooded. In addition, FEMA’s maps were a departure from the original maps issued in the 1980s, which showed that the area was not prone to flooding. The implication of the new flood maps meant that homeowners with a federal mortgage would be forced to buy costly flood insurance.
As Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, which has jurisdiction over the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) administered by FEMA, I began communications with FEMA in order to understand why the area had been designated as a flood plain and to request FEMA reconsider its decision, which they did. I joined FEMA at a town hall on January 30th to share the good news with residents in person, after having previously sent them a letter, and to answer any questions that they may have.
Below is information on how Hyde Park/Park Mesa Heights homeowners with a federally-related mortgage loan can obtain a refund for flood insurance. Affected homeowners live in an area roughly shaped like a half-circle bounded by Hyde Park Boulevard to the south, 5th Avenue to the west, West Slauson Avenue to the north and Arlington Avenue to the east. Please see the map below.
More on FEMA Flood Maps
Below is Congresswoman Maxine Waters' one minute statement on the House floor in support of H.R. 41 - the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill:
Thank you so very much, Congressman Meeks.
I am so proud of the members of this Congress from both sides of the aisle, who have been real advocates, who have been on television, who have been fighting. Members on the opposite side of the aisle have criticized their own leadership for the delay.
I move to strike the last word.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for convening this markup.
I would also like to thank Chairwoman Biggert for the work she has done on H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act and I am proud to be an original cosponsor this important bill.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) today reintroduced her legislation to improve the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Last year, the Congresswoman's NFIP legislation was passed by the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support, but was not taken up by the Senate. NFIP is the primary source of reliable, affordable flood insurance coverage for more than five million American homes and businesses.
by Kevin Drawbaugh
Congress is pulling on its hip waders again to try to rescue a government policy wreck left over from 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
The National Flood Insurance Program, badly damaged by the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history as well as long neglect, has defied attempts at reform for five years.
That's not stopping Judy Biggert. On Friday, the soft-spoken Republican chairman of the House of Representatives insurance subcommittee will tackle the troubled NFIP, just as record U.S. winter snows threaten to cause heavy spring floods.
by Jim Abrams
Congress has not updated the program since 1994. In the ensuing years the once-solvent program had to pay out some $17 billion in Katrina-related claims and had to deal with FEMA flood zone remapping that has thrust thousands of homes and businesses into areas where they are required to buy flood insurance.
by Arthur D. Postal
President Obama on Friday morning signed into law an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until Sept. 30.
The bill is H.R. 5569, the "National Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010."
The bill is retroactive to June 1, when the authorization for the program lapsed for the fourth time in several years.
The bill also reduces the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs the program, by $50 billion to $20.725 billion.