Congress is sending President Barack Obama a bill to ease big flood insurance premium increases faced by hundreds of thousands of homeowners and allow below-market rates to be passed on to people buying homes with taxpayer-subsidized policies.
The measure breezed through the Senate and on to Obama's desk Thursday on a 72-22 vote. The House passed it last week.
Jefferson Parish President John Young applauded the approval of the bi-partisan measure. "Without the leadership of the entire Louisiana federal delegation, relief for homeowners would not be in sight. The action taken today not only protects those policy holders who played by the rules, but also is a major step towards a responsible and solvent National Flood Insurance Program.”
The legislation significantly rewrites a major overhaul of the flood insurance program passed two years ago. The 2012 changes were aimed at weaning hundreds of thousands of homeowners off of subsidized rates and required extensive updating of flood maps used to set premiums.
But its implementation has stirred anxiety among many homeowners along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and in flood plains, many of whom are threatened with unaffordable rate increases.
"This huge victory saves families in Louisiana and across the country from losing their homes,” Senator David Vitter said. “It’s a long overdue, permanent fix that is also entirely paid for, so the program will be able to sustain itself in the future.”
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