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FEMA Chief: Cut Coverage for Flood-prone Homes

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long is pushing for an overhaul of disaster relief so that states, cities, and homeowners shoulder more of the costs and the federal government bears less of the risk...
August 29, 2017

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long is pushing for an overhaul of disaster relief so that states, cities, and homeowners shoulder more of the costs and the federal government bears less of the risk. He said taxpayers should not be on the hook for homes that keep flooding, and the threshold for triggering federal public assistance after a disaster might be too low.

“I don’t think the taxpayer should reward risk going forward,” said Long. “We have to find ways to comprehensively become more resilient.” Although some of these changes will require action from Congress, FEMA says that without legislation it could shift the initial costs for disaster relief to local or state governments.

Long supports keeping homes that continually flood out of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) altogether. “There are a handful of properties that create a large portion of that cost burden,” he said. “We’ve got to start there, and at some point cut that off.”

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