Understanding Flood Insurance and Mitigation Programs
Residential and commercial property owners in flood-prone areas of Columbia and Montour counties are facing dramatic increases in flood insurance. The Columbia County Housing and Redevelopment Authority recently received grant dollars to help some homeowners mitigate these higher costs and future flooding risks. Information sessions are scheduled for May 11th to explain the reasons for the insurance increases, and the grant assistance program. In addition to property owners, lenders, realtors, and insurance agents are welcome to attend to learn more.
In 2012, Congress passed the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. This legislation phases out flood insurance subsidies, which impacts many properties in our area that were built prior to the creation of the program. When the subsidies are fully phased out, property owners could be facing premiums many times higher than current rates.
Additionally, FEMA is remapping flood elevations along the Susquehanna River Basin following the flooding in 2011. This is likely to result in many more properties being included in flood zones. The remapped zones are scheduled to take effect in 2018.
The Redevelopment Authority has received funding to help homeowners in some sections of Columbia County to elevate their homes and/or utilities above base flood elevations. There are income guidelines associated with these Federal dollars. The informational sessions will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on May 11th at the Espy Fire Hall to provide additional details, distribute applications, and help residents determine if their properties will be impacted by remapping.