WASHINGTON, DC – May 17, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Congressman Bill Cassidy M.D., along with Co-Chairmen Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and Congressmen Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Vice-Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) announced the creation of the bi-cameral, bi-partisan Congressional Home Protection Caucus.
“Flood insurance is critical not only to South Louisiana but to coastal communities across the country. This is why I am working to make it both available and affordable. The Biggert-Waters Act was the only way to make it available. Unfortunately, it has been implemented in a way by FEMA to make the insurance unaffordable,” said Cassidy.
Cassidy continued, “that’s why Senator Vitter and Congressmen Richmond, Grimm, Pascrell and Palazzo and I started the Congressional Home Protection Caucus, with the express goal of promoting market-based solutions to make flood insurance affordable for coastal communities. This bi-partisan coalition will fight for real, common-sense solutions to protect home owners and their investments.”
“I’ve been actively talking with folks across Louisiana and one thing is clear – folks are outraged by the magnitude of the potential rate increases. One of my top focuses in the Senate right now is working for a solution. We must make sure that people who have been following the rules aren’t priced out of their homes because their flood insurance rates increase so dramatically. The primary focus of the Home Protection Caucus will be to increase awareness of the need for Congress to immediately address flood insurance increases and bring voices together to work towards that solution,” Vitter said.
“Those impacted by Superstorm Sandy have been faced with an onslaught of uncertainty from another round of FEMA map revisions to the potential for skyrocketing flood insurance rates. There has to be a better way. As a Congress we must do more to find solutions that make flood insurance more affordable and accessible, in order to help homeowners protect their greatest investment. As a co-chair of the Congressional Home Protection Caucus, I will work with my colleagues on common-sense reforms that bring more certainty and stability to homeowners in Staten Island and Brooklyn, and throughout the nation,” said Rep. Grimm.
“The formation of the Congressional Home Protection Caucus is a great step forward in addressing the devastating impacts produced by this legislation,” said Michael Hecht, President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “GNO, Inc. commends Congressmen Cassidy and Richmond and Senator Vitter for forming this caucus, and we look forward to working with them and our entire Louisiana Congressional delegation to implement solutions to this problem.”
For many Americans, homeownership is their single biggest investment. The first priority of the Congressional Home Protection Caucus will be to ensure the promotion of market-based solutions that enhance the accessability and affordability of flood insurance for all Americans. Biggert-Waters continued the National Flood Insurance Program and made it accessible to homeowners, however implementation of this Act has largely made it unaffordable to some homeowners. The result has devalued the investments made in properties and homes; radically increasing the cost of flood insurance for policyholders.
The Congressional Home Protection Caucus believes we need transparency in the development of FIRMs that FEMA uses to assign risk in flood zone areas and we need stability in the real estate market as the investment in homeownership is in danger of deteriorating as a result of dramatic increases in premiums