Legislation introduced to delay flood insurance hikes - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Legislation introduced to delay flood insurance hikes


NEW ORLEANS - Lawmakers are banning together to delay what some consider to be a devastating blow to entire communities.

"This is probably worse than all the storms and the BP oil spill put together," said Jefferson Parish President John Young

Senators Mayor Landrieu, David Vitter and several other lawmakers introduced legislation to delay changes to the flood insurance program that's threatening to sock hundreds of thousands of people with unaffordable premium hikes.

"That's just not right and it's not fair," Vitter said. "We can't allow that to happen."

In some cases, flood insurance could go as high as $24,000 a year.

"We have priced middle-class people out of the market," Landrieu said. "This is middle-class people that live where they live because that's where they work."

The new bill will delay the flood insurance hikes for four years while FEMA completes an affordability study.

A Louisiana delegation began its campaign in May, bringing attention to the Biggert Waters Act and the negative impact it would have on communities.

"You had people that met all the requirements and built to the government standards and now they're being penalized for it," said Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner.

"It's going to destroy the real estate market," said Young. "It's going to destroy the banking industry and it will eventually destroy the local government."

With the Federal Flood Insurance Program running close to $20 billion in the hole, the Biggert Waters Act is supposed to keep the program alive, but the effects of it are already being felt.

This new legislation is the latest attempt to make significant changes.

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