NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Sen. Martin J. Golden and U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm are urging the U.S. Senate to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.
The lawmakers held a news conference Saturday near a home damaged by Hurricane Sandy in the Gerritsen Beach section of Brooklyn, 1010 WINS reported.
The legislation, which is sponsored by Grimm, aims to provide relief to homeowners who live in flood-prone areas, many of whom have been faced with increased insurance rates of up to thousands of dollars with little to no warning.
“Many residents of my district are still struggling to recover from Sandy, some not even back in their homes yet. October 2013, just one year after this life changing and horrific storm, many people saw their rates go from $600 a year to $6,000 a year, or even more. It’s unconscionable to ask people who can’t even live in these properties to be paying that much money, without warning, and without any way to appeal. This bill corrects this lapse in judgment, and gives homeowners in flood areas a reasonable rate to pay,” Golden said.
The Flood Insurance Affordability Act would allow for a more reasonable rate increase, without damaging the housing market, according to the lawmakers.
“This bill is going to help neighborhoods even outside the flood zone. All the neighborhoods that are in the flood zone – again many were not originally mapped into a flood zone, but now because of the new maps they are – this is going to allow them to get an insurance policy before the maps are fully adopted,” Grimm told 1010 WINS.
The bill would also put a stop to the freezing of homeowners into properties that they cannot sell and in many cases have been unable to move back into yet.
Grimm said he’s sure that President Barack Obama will sign the legislation if the Senate adopts it.
“There’s no question in my mind that the president will sign this into law as soon as he has the opportunity. So we just have to urge the Senate to adopt the House bill. It’s already bipartisan. The Senate has had input into this bill, so it’s not only bipartisan it’s also bicameral,” Grimm said.
Grimm said for Sandy victims, who have already been through so much, the bill would give them one less thing they have to worry about.
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