A Message from CAI Government & Public Affairs

Today, January 8, the U.S. Senate is voting to invoke cloture (a.k.a. bring the debate to an end) on S. 1846, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIA). If cloture is invoked, the Senate will proceed to debate and a vote on passing HFIA.  Please contact your Senators today urging support of invoking cloture and supporting passage of HFIA.

In 2013 Congress adjourned without reversing flood insurance premium hikes set in motion by the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform (Biggert-Waters) Act. The premium increases, which are being implemented in phases, are already impacting homeowners and community associations across the country.

CAI supports a financially stable National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that more accurately reflects the real risk of flooding. However, under the current law, the sale of a property removes the 5-year transition to actuarially sound premiums and instead requires the new owner to immediately pay full risk rates. This can be a significant financial hit on the current or new owner that may stop the sale of the home. As the housing market is improving, this creates yet another hurdle for sales in communities across the country.

Other unintended consequences of Biggert-Waters include premium increases on homes built to code but that new flood maps now designate as higher risk. Many times the new federal flood risk maps ignore state and local flood control systems that protect these homes and businesses, a flaw that FEMA concedes. These owners should not be required to pay insurance premiums on risks that do not actually exist.

For a cloture motion to be successful at least 60 Senators must vote in the affirmative. Once cloture has been invoked, the Senate may proceed to a final vote on the legislation without concern for a filibuster. Given HFIA’s broad support among both Democratic and Republican Senators, there is a clear path to securing the 60 votes required for the Senate to take up and pass the legislation.

The vote for cloture on HFIA will take place today, January 8, 2014. Please click here to contact your senators and urge them to vote to invoke cloture on HFIA and support final passage of this critical legislation.

CAI will continue to monitor the debate on flood insurance rate relief and advise members of key votes on HFIA in 2014. If you have any questions or comments on flood insurance or other governmental issues affecting community associations, please send an email to government@caionline.org or call (888) 224-4321.

 

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