Louisiana property owners scored a victory when the U.S. Senate and House passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. The Louisiana Municipal Association wishes to thank our congressional delegation and in particular Sens. Landrieu, Vitter and Cassidy for the leadership on the issue. Additionally, we wish to recognize the hard work by the Greater New Orleans Inc. Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance. Their effort led a lobbying and awareness campaign with business, civic and governmental entities nationwide.
It is important to note that since 1967, the National Flood Insurance Program was a financially solvent government-sponsored program until the failure of federal government Corps of Engineer-designed levees in New Orleans and Hurricane Sandy’s devastation on the East Coast. Homeowners and businesses nationwide have paid premiums and also have benefitted from the insured protection of this government program since the private insurance industry could not cover the risk.
Louisiana’s culture is based on or around the water. Our hard-working residents who depend on our water resources – such as shrimpers, fishermen, oil and gas workers to name a few – would have been facing disastrous premium rate hikes if the flood insurance rules had remained in place.
FEMA will now be required to perform an affordability study, which was called for in the original legislation. It will seek to recognize secondary levees as part of the new flood maps. Furthermore, if a policyholder appears their flood map designation and succeeds, they will be reimbursed by FEMA. This legislation makes sense.
Our organization represents over 300 cities, towns and villages who have a vital stake in the outcome of this legislation. Through our efforts, the National League of Cities added its support to this effort. Now that it’s passed, municipalities across the nation, not just Louisiana, will feel secure that their properties will be protected and quality of life assured.
Mayor, Town of Sterlington,
President, Louisiana Municipal Association