The U.S. Senate passed an act today that delays most flood insurance rate increases associated with the Biggert-Waters Act for four years. Under the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, all post-flood insurance rate map (FIRM) properties, including primary residences, will be covered for the full four-year delay.
The legislation also removes the property sales trigger so that new homeowners will be able to retain subsidized rates for pre-FIRM properties.
“Our parish and others can rest a little easier with the passage of the bill,” Councilwoman Julia Fisher-Perrier said. “Resolve seems to be on our horizon. However, our voices should not fade away, as this fight is not over. Mapping and levees are a few more pieces to this puzzle.”
Without a delay, the Biggert-Waters Act would have led to large flood insurance premium increases by disallowing the grandfathering of insurance policies on homes that were placed above base flood elevation at the time of their construction. Homes in the communities of Luling, Boutte, Paradis, Bayou Gauche and Des Allemands that would be below base flood elevation under new FEMA flood maps would be the most affected in the parish.
Homeowners in those areas faced insurance bills of thousands to tens of thousands of dollars for insurance that now only costs them a few hundred dollars
“As it has been said many times – this is not a Louisiana issue. It is a national issue that would devastate many homeowners across the United States,” Councilwoman Carolyn Schexnaydre said. “A permanent solutions is the ultimate goal, but this piece of legislation is a monumental step in the right direction to protect our citizens.”
St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said the focus now shifts to the House to convince representatives from across America that this delay is vital to protect the American dream.
“We cannot allow the momentum of our effort to slow down; people around the country are counting on it,” he said.