We are writing in response to the Star Ledger editorial :
“In long run, bill to overhaul flood insurance will hurt more than help | Editorial” firstname.lastname@example.org
If flood insurance premiums become unaffordable, they will lose considerable value and undermine the tax base.
As HFIAA (Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act) currently stands increases are as follows:
“Those certain properties” referred to in the quote above are primarily from States, like New Jersey, who have an older housing stock (they are referred to as pre-firm properties).
We averaged out what a 25% compounded yearly increase would look like with a $250 yearly surcharge.
We agree that homeowners need to mitigate their homes from future flooding. But most homeowners do not have $150,000- $200,000 to raise their homes. They will need time to formulate a plan. They will also need, means tested, assistance: either in the form of Low interest loans or outright grants.
Keep in mind, this is not a “Jersey Shore” issue. There are 230,000 flood policies in New Jersey, but many are located in these inland towns, such as: Englewood – 648 flood policies, Fairfield -1,105, Guttenberg – 459, West New York – 701, Lincoln Park – 665, Little Falls – 508, Paterson 940, Pompton Lakes – 561, Wayne – 825, Manville – 430, Plainfield 1,204, Cranford-829. Data from https://bsa.nfipstat.fema.gov/reports/1011.htm#NJT (Over 56 Billion Dollars in flood policies cover NJ properties.)
If the increases are not slowed it will have a devastating effect on the housing market in New Jersey. It will “stigmatize” flood zone properties and will accelerate the demise if property values in flood zone communities.
Lastly if these homes are devalued, and in tens of thousands of cases- these homes will be worth just the land they sit on, then it will have a drastic effect on the tax base in these communities. The banks will lose their collateral in the property. Homeowners will have no choice but to walk away from their homes.
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