July 19, 2010
House Bill Addresses Flooding and Land Use Issues...
Awhile back, I posted on the wisdom (or lack thereof) in building buildings in flood-prone areas and how the current federal flood insurance program essentially subsidizes such risky behavior.
Now, I'm not suggesting that House members read Land Use Prof Blog (then again, Prof. Festa is pretty well-connected in the highest reaches of government), but Congress does appear to be addressing the problem of subsidizing development in areas where we know that the area is very likely to flood again in the future.
The bill takes such steps as permitting an increase in premiums, deductibles and coverage, and phasing out subsidies for vacation homes and for people living in areas repeatedly hit by floods. It now goes to the Senate.In the past, this topic has made for several very interesting policy and regulatory discussions in my land use courses. Most center on the often-unrealized extent at which the federal flood insurance program has supported (if not downright incentivized) land development in areas where nature would seem to suggest otherwise.
--Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.
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