BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Last year, when Congress passed a reform act to help the National Flood Insurance Program become self-sustainable, many Louisiana homeowners feared the worst about potential insurance hikes.
Now, unless Congress or FEMA acts quickly, those fears will become a reality next month. Under the new guidelines, premiums for those living four feet below FEMA's base-flood elevation would be an estimated $9,500 a year.
What's worse, in many cases, these are people who built homes based on required elevation in prior FEMA maps. A bill passed in the House and now awaiting Senate approval would delay rate hikes by one year for those 'grandfathered' in because they built to prior specs.
Our congressional delegation is also working to make a one year delay part of other legislation being considered this month. But, time is running short. We implore FEMA and Congress to act now and put this plan on hold while looking for a better way to transition the program.
The people of south Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region live with the threat of losing their homes to hurricanes. They shouldn't have to fear losing their homes because they cannot afford flood insurance.