NEWARK, NJ - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today applauded President Obama for bringing relief to flood-weary New Jersey residents. By signing the Menendez-led Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) into law, thousands are protected from the financial tsunami that would have resulted from soaring flood insurance rates.
"This critical law, which I originally authored and introduced on the one-year anniversary of Sandy, is a tremendous victory for thousands of New Jersey homeowners who were facing skyrocketing flood insurance costs as they continued to recover from the worst natural disaster in our state's history," Sen. Menendez said.
Sen. Menendez authored and first introduced HFIAA last October on the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. It addressed the egregious problems with the Federal Emergency Management Administration's (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), bringing relief to homeowners who desperately needed help, while not significantly impacting the program's solvency. The bill passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.
"Over a year ago, I began hearing from constituents, many who came to me in tears, expressing horror stories of skyrocketing flood insurance premiums that threatened to force them from their homes," said Sen. Menendez. "The more I listened, the more I was convinced that something needed to be done and done quickly."
Specifically, the HFIAA:
The law also establishes a Flood Insurance Advocate within FEMA to answer current and prospective policyholder questions about the flood mapping process and flood insurance rates and require FEMA to certify its mapping process is technologically advanced and to notify and justify to communities that the mapping model it plans to use to create the community's new flood map are appropriate.
"Even in an era of partisan gridlock, we can and must come together to do right by the honest, hardworking homeowners who need our support," the Senator said. "I remain committed to working with Federal and State officials, as well as with my colleagues in Washington, to find results for the people of New Jersey."
Sen. Menendez today sent out an email directly to constituents, thanking them for their support and critical input that helped shape this law. He reminded New Jerseyans not to hesitate to call his office for help.