April 17, 2018

New FEMA Study Wisely Details Ways to Make Flood Insurance Affordable

Statement by Shana Udvardy, Climate Preparedness Specialist

WASHINGTON (April 17, 2018)—The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a report today detailing how Congress can modify the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) making insurance more affordable for low-income households and limiting their future risk. Some of the possible policy options include: sharing premium costs with FEMA, assisting those already spending significantly on other housing expenses, and providing grants or loans for mitigation actions that reduce flood risk.

Below is a statement by Shana Udvardy, climate preparedness specialist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“We’re heartened to see this long-awaited FEMA report on ways to provide affordable flood insurance to low-income households and limit their future risk. In 2017, the U.S. experienced a record-breaking year of costly extreme weather disasters, with many of these communities still working to make themselves whole. Coastal flooding is expected to only get worse as the planet warms and sea levels rise due to climate change.

“As Congress faces a July deadline to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, this affordability framework couldn’t come at a more crucial time. It’s imperative that Congress hit the ground running to incorporate these findings into their reauthorization proposals, so low-income households aren’t left behind.

“FEMA’s affordability framework also includes an option to provide low-income homeowners and communities living in flood-prone areas resources to invest in flood-proofing measures, such as elevating homes, that reduce future flood risks. Taxpayers could benefit too as they save $6 for every $1 invested in federally funded programs that help limit hazards and increase resilience to climate change impacts.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.