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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

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

May 12, 2010 In The News

by Roberta Rampton

Representative Barney Frank introduced legislation on Friday to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through September, which would give Congress more time to fix the troubled program.

The insurance program, important to more than 5 million homes and businesses in flood plains, has been in debt since major hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. Reform efforts stalled in Congress last year.

April 28, 2010 In The News

By Bruce Alpert
Washington bureau

A U.S. House committee approved legislation Tuesday that would let property owners buy wind coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.

The bill, approved 40-25 by the House Financial Services Committee, now goes to the full House, which passed the measure two years ago.

April 28, 2010 In The News

By Kevin Drawbaugh

A bill to overhaul the troubled National Flood Insurance Program, which covers more than five million homes and businesses in flood-prone areas, was approved on Tuesday by a congressional committee.

The bill, if approved in the full House and Senate, would reauthorize the program for five years and delay implementation of new rate maps for flood zones so homeowners newly included in a flood zone do not face an immediate new insurance cost.

April 22, 2010 In The News

by Anita Lee

A House bill to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program through September 2015 falls far short of reform the program needs for financial solvency, experts and politicians testified during a congressional subcommittee hearing Thursday.

April 16, 2010 In The News


Many people trying to buy a house with a riverfront view were up a creek the past few weeks because of the temporary shutdown of the federal program that provides flood insurance.

Much was made of the thousands of workers losing their unemployment checks or their access to a federal health care program while the Senate took weeks to act on an $18 billion bill to extend, through the end of May or early June, several benefits programs that had expired.