Key West Citizen: Lawmakers file bill to fight flood insurance rate hikes

By Timothy O'Hara

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Washington, D.C., March 8, 2017 | comments
U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Charlie Crist have re-introduced a bill that would protect the owners of rental properties and second homes from large flood insurance rate increases.

The two congressmen filed the Flood Insurance Fairness Act on Tuesday, which is designed to extend caps on National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insurance rates to second homes and rental properties in coastal areas.

This bill is “critical to South Florida, especially for residents of the Florida Keys that are in desperate need of affordable housing options,” Curbelo said.

“To exclude these properties is fundamentally unfair to areas like Monroe County that is dealing with an affordable housing crisis,” Curbelo said. “There is a perceived notion that NFIP is benefiting wealthy second homeowners. Monroe County relies on rental properties for workers to rent. It’s about eliminating the affordable housing crisis.”

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The latest edition of the Flood Insurance Fairness Act would ensure all Americans have access to affordable flood insurance by guaranteeing that all non-primary residences and business properties receive the same rates provided to primary homes under the NFIP, Curbelo said.

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Congress will reauthorize the NFIP this year and there are concerns in the Keys that it will lead to substantial rate hikes.

“We know this was an ugly fight last time,” Curbelo said.

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