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Charlie Crist, Roger Williams hope to lower flood insurance prices with low-interest loan program

Oct 18, 2018
In The News

From his perch on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, a Florida congressman is looking “to drive down flood insurance premiums by creating a low-interest loan program to help property owners better protect their homes and businesses from storm damage, ultimately reducing post-disaster claims” with new legislation. 

This week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., unveiled the “State Flood Mitigation Revolving Fund Act” which has U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, as a cosponsor. 

“Modeled after the successful Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds," Crist’s office insisted the bill “would establish a state revolving loan program to help fund flood mitigation projects for homeowners, businesses, nonprofits, and communities” which “would help states offer low-interest loans to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) participants for flood mitigation projects to better protect their properties, reducing post-disaster claims.”

On Wednesday, Crist weighed in on why he had introduced the bill.

"Bringing down flood insurance premiums while helping folks better protect their homes from storm damage is a win-win for Pinellas families and businesses," said Crist. "Mitigation is key to reducing post-disaster relief costs, saving taxpayer dollars, and building more resilient communities in the face of more extreme weather and rising sea levels. The devastating storms we've seen within the last year speak to the urgent need for federal action on flood mitigation programs, protecting public safety and our economy."

"Flooding is the most common and costliest natural disaster in the United States and it was pastime to address the need for mitigation," said Williams. "This legislation will prevent federal post-disaster spending and minimize the unforeseen burdens on American families, as well as the economy."

The bill has the support of the Pew Charitable Trusts, Association of State Floodplain Managers, Association of State Wetland Managers, Enterprise Community Partners, Consumer Mortgage Coalition and Union of Concerned Scientists.

Crist’s legislation was sent to the House Financial Services Committee which oversees the NFIP. U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., have a similar bill over in the U.S. Senate.