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Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance Marks Passage of Flood Insurance Reform

New Orleans, LA – Today, Greater New Orleans, Inc. joined several parish presidents to mark the passage of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. The group also announced next steps for the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSFI), the national partnership established by GNO, Inc. to amend Biggert-Waters, to ensure efficient implementation and a successful reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program in 2017.

“The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act makes economic and moral sense,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “The success of this effort is due to the tireless leadership of our Louisiana Congressional delegation, particularly Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator David Vitter, Congressman Steve Scalise, Congressman Cedric Richmond, and Congressman Bill Cassidy as well as several parish presidents whose commitment to the future of their parishes is unwavering.  GNO, Inc. looks forward to working with the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance along with national stakeholders to ensure flood insurance remains viable permanently. ”

In the coming weeks, the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance will evolve its effort by creating a 501(C)6 entity and establishing a national board of directors that will include industry stakeholders, community stakeholders, and geographic diversity.  CSFI’s mission will be to ensure that flood insurance is affordable and sustainable for the nation.

Jefferson Parish President John Young said, “The people of Louisiana scored a major victory last week when President Obama signed The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act into law. His signature is the culmination of a true bipartisan effort towards an affordable and sustainable National Flood Insurance Program and ends years of uncertainty for home and business owners of Jefferson Parish.  I would like to thank the citizens of Louisiana for this grassroots effort and the entire Louisiana federal delegation for leading the charge in this fight.”

Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph said, “This action is essential to the future of a solid flood insurance program for Lafourche Parish residents as well as millions of Americans. We now have a realistic foundation from which to build, allowing for true flood maps accounting for all structures that can reduce our risk. And time to complete more.”

St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta said, “This is a great piece of legislation which will allow for the continuing growth of St. Bernard Parish.  My thanks to our congressional delegation as well as my fellow Parish Presidents and Mayors for all the hard work.”

St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said, “I want to thank our entire federal delegation for their hard work to get this bill passed. St. Charles was the first town hall in the country to feel the effects of Biggert-Waters, we are excited to know that our residents will be able to stay in their home and keep the American Dream alive. We look forward to working towards a sustainable and affordable flood insurance program. I want to extend my deep appreciation for my staff, the entire delegation, and especially the citizens of St Charles.”

St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel said, “”With President Obama’s signing, we have accomplished an astonishing victory for our homeowners, business community, and developers, as well as our Parishes and counties across this great nation.  Victory was made possible because of the tireless, persistent public servants, whether in public office or serving with an organization, giving of themselves to achieve the remarkable end result.  Thanks to GNO, Inc. for their outstanding leadership role.”

St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom said, “We are extremely pleased that President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act into law so quickly. This is a huge victory for St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana and the nation.  Our coalition will continue to work to ensure the law is properly implemented and our communities are protected.”

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister said, “It was a difficult fight, but we can be proud that when we stand up for what’s right, good reforms can come about to protect families, as well as keep the NFIP solvent. This important victory for St. Tammany, Southeast Louisiana, and all Americans will allow homes to be bought and sold, re-invigorate the housing market and spur development. This reform will keep flood insurance affordable, and continue to protect families from the devastation of disasters, instead of pushing them into bankruptcy.”

Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet said, “The signing of this bill marks the end of a long journey.  Had this bill not been passed and signed into law it would have been the end of our way of life in South Louisiana as we know it. Thanks to our Congressional delegation, the Parish Presidents of our region, GNO, Inc., and countless others.”

Since May 2013, GNO, Inc. has led national coalition of business and elected leaders, now including over 200 business, trade associations and local governments in 35 states, in order to address harmful changes to the NFIP. As founders of this Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSFI), GNO, Inc. works to align national business interests for the good of their local communities and the national economy.

The law includes proposals originally suggested by the Coalition, including the reinstatement of grandfathering and capping premiums at one percent of the real estate policy value. The legislation also removes the property sales trigger, caps annual rate increases at 15 percent, and refunds policyholders who purchased homes and were subsequently charged higher rates.