GNO, Inc. Releases Letter to President Obama On Flood Insurance

NEW ORLEANS, La. — Today, Greater New Orleans, Inc. released a letter signed by 191 business and civic associations and local governments nationwide urging President Obama to administratively delay certain flood insurance premium increases. The letter includes signatures from the National Association of Counties, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of REALTORS®, Independent Community Bankers Association, and Community Associations Institute.

“The breadth of organizations signing our letter demonstrates that affordable flood insurance is a national issue, and we are urging President Obama to act immediately to protect the investments of taxpayers across America,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Implementing Biggert-Waters as it currently stands will destroy the wealth of hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans who have built exactly as the government has told them, maintained insurance and often never flooded. Finally, the current law actually puts the solvency of the program in further peril. To proceed with implementation would be both economically unwise and morally unjust.”

The letter makes clear that signers support a fully authorized and fiscally responsible NFIP, but that premium affordability must be factored in. According to the letter, “The undersigned organizations support a fully authorized, sustainable, and fiscally responsible NFIP. However, fiscal sustainability must be balanced with protecting the businesses and homes built according to code and following all applicable laws. We understand and support the intent of the Biggert-Waters Act, but unintended consequences of the reforms threaten to harm the very people the program was designed to protect.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Since May 2013, GNO, Inc. has organized a growing national coalition of business and elected leaders to address harmful changes to the NFIP. As founders of the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSFI), the organization works to address drastic ­ and unintended ­ increases to NFIP rates for home and business owners. A confluence of the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 (meant to stabilize NFIP), incomplete FEMA maps and questionable actuarial calculations has led to premium increases of up to 3,000% and more ­ for policy-owners who have never flooded. CSFI now represents one hundred and seventy-five organizations in twenty-seven states.

About Greater New Orleans, Inc.

GNO, Inc. is the regional economic development organization, serving to coordinate, consolidate, and catalyze economic development activity. The GNO, Inc. Mission is to create jobs and wealth in the Greater New Orleans community. The GNO, Inc. Vision is for the Greater New Orleans region to fulfill its potential as one of the best places in the country to grow a company, and raise a family.

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