First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced that Congress has passed a flood insurance bill, which the

President is expected to sign into law that would halt major flood insurance premium increases that

took effect following the passage of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

This bill, called the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, overhauls most of the

2012 provisions of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). According to, the

bill summary, which is authored by the Congressional Research Service, prohibits the Administrator

of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from: (1) increasing flood insurance risk

premium rates to reflect the current risk of flood for certain property located in specified areas

subject to a certain mandatory premium adjustment, or (2) reducing such subsidies for any property

not insured by the flood insurance program as of July 6, 2012, or any policy that has lapsed in

coverage as a result of the policyholder’s deliberate choice (Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map or pre-
FIRM properties). Sets forth expiration dates for such prohibitions.

It also amends the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (NFIA) to prohibit the Administrator from

providing flood insurance to prospective insureds at rates less than those estimated for any property

purchased after the expiration of such six-month period (currently, any property purchased after

July 6, 2012).

The bill directs FEMA to: (1) restore during such six-month period specified estimated risk

premium rate subsidies for flood insurance for pre-FIRM properties and properties purchased after

such six-month period, and (2) submit to certain congressional committees a draft affordability

framework addressing the affordability of flood insurance sold under the National Flood Insurance


It prescribes procedures for expedited congressional consideration of legislation on FEMA

affordability authorities and permits FEMA to enter into an agreement with another federal agency

either to: (1) complete the affordability study, or (2) prepare the draft affordability framework.

The bill directs FEMA submit to certain congressional committees the affordability study and

report. It also amends NFIA to authorize FEMA to reimburse homeowners for successful map


The bill makes any community that has made adequate progress on the construction (as under

current law) or reconstruction (new) of a flood protection system which will afford flood protection

for the one-hundred year frequency flood eligible for flood insurance at premium rates not

exceeding those which would apply if such flood protection system had been completed.

The bill revises guidelines governing availability of flood insurance in communities restoring

disaccredited flood protection systems to include riverine and coastal levees. It also requires FEMA

to: (1) rate a covered structure using the elevation difference between the floodproofed elevation

of the covered structure and the adjusted base flood elevation of the covered structure; and (2)

designate a Flood Insurance Advocate to advocate for the fair treatment of policy holders under

the National Flood Insurance Program and property owners in the mapping of flood hazards, the

identification of risks from flood, and the implementation of measures to minimize the risk of flood.

First Selectman Tetreau said, “This major news comes at a pivotal time for our residents still

dealing with the stresses and complications following Storm Sandy. This bill, which is much fairer

than the old one, has many positive elements, especially the halting of flood insurance premium

increases that all of our town’s flood insurance owners simply cannot afford right now. I wish to

thank our entire Connecticut delegation for voting in favor of this crucial bill.”

To see the bill in its entirety, please go to


For questions or further information on this bill, Fairfield residents are encouraged to contact

Congressman Jim Himes’s aide, Amy Lappos, at or

(866) 453-0028.

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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