White House: No flood ins. for new homes in high-risk zones
WASHINGTON – Oct. 6, 2017 – The Trump administration proposed and end to federal flood insurance for new homes built in high-risk flood areas – a change that could curtail new construction in parts of Florida.
Home builders warned that the plan could stifle the economy and strongly opposed the idea. On the opposite side of the debate, climate activists praised it, suggesting it would put less people in harm's way.
Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, sent a letter to Congress that included the proposal. The letter called for changes to the taxpayer-subsidized National Flood Insurance Program, which is $25 billion in debt thanks to ever-worsening storms.
Mulvaney's proposals included one that would prevent new homes built in flood plains after 2020 from obtaining insurance under the program. It wouldn't block construction in high-risk zones since their owners could still seek private coverage, but that's often a lot more expensive if it's available at all.
The National Association of Home Builders argues that the proposal would "harm local communities and impair economic growth."
In addition to curtailing the flood coverage, the plan would authorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cut-off coverage for properties that flood repeatedly.
Lawmakers face a deadline of Dec. 8 to reauthorize the program after it was temporarily extended in September.
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