Third, “flood resistant” construction standards were updated in 2009, 2012, and 2015. No doubt they will be updated again in the effort to hold down damages and claims. higher elevation requirements for properties seeking HUD assistance or Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance.” For the first time in nearly 40 years, HUD is proposing to establish “For the first time in nearly 40 years,” said the Department, “HUD is proposing to establish higher elevation requirements` for properties seeking HUD assistance or Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance.” According to the Department, “HUD’s proposed rule would require that properties deemed ‘non-critical’ to be elevated two feet above the site’s base flood elevation (also called 100-year floodplain), a term commonly used in floodplain management. Properties considered ‘critical,’ such as hospitals, nursing homes, and police/fire facilities, For example, in October HUD proposed a new flood “resilience standard.”

would be elevated to three feet above the base flood elevation or the 500-year floodplain, whichever is greater.” Fourth, flood insurance premiums will have to rise because the present system is untenable. This will mean that some owners with marginal finances will no longer be able to afford waterfront property. Other owners, faced with rising premiums, will no longer purchase flood insurance, something that may already be happening: according to a 2016 report by the Insurance Information Institute “12 percent of American homeowners had a flood insurance policy, lower than the 14 percent who had the coverage in 2015.” Fifth, the $24 billion owed to the Treasury is unlikely to ever be repaid. The growth of a private presence in the flood insurance field will not bring new dollars to the government.

Sixth, the 2018 budget is unlikely to be passed as written. However, it opens the flood insurance discussion months before the NFIP authorization ends later this year on Sep. 30. Seventh, flood prevention efforts need to be seen as not only benefiting waterfronts but also as a jobs program. Replicate the New York effort nationwide — something which seems increasingly necessary — and you can easily have a $1 trillion infrastructure program that would cut flood insurance claims and at the same time create jobs throughout the economy, benefits that would be good for everyone. Lastly, the NFIP will have to be re- authorized this year for a very simple reason: There is nothing to replace it at this time and flood insurance subsidies are far cheaper than devaluing millions of waterfront properties.

ATTOM Data Solutions • P9

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