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Ranking Member Maxine Waters’ Statement on New CBO Report on Expected Flood Damages to Homeowners with Federal Mortgages, Calls for Long-Term Reauthorization and Reform of the National Flood Insurance Program
Washington, DC, November 15, 2023
Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, released this statement following the release of a new report by the Congressional Budget Office entitled, “Flood Damage and Federally Backed Mortgages in a Changing Climate.”
“I’ve long sounded the alarm on the effects of climate change, and the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) new report is a stark reminder that worsening climate change remains one of the greatest threats to our nation’s housing and financial systems. In particular, the CBO finds that between 2020 and 2050, the federal government will continue to experience increased flood-related damages to homes financed with federally backed and insured mortgages. Total expected flood damages are projected to reach up to $258 billion over a 30-year period by 2050 for homes with mortgages that are backed, insured, or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The CBO also adds to a body of evidence that shows the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) mapping of special flood hazard areas (SFHAs) does not account for up to half of all homeowners with federal mortgages who are at risk of flood damage, with most expected damages concentrated in coastal areas. This is why I have continually pushed for increased funding and reforms to modernize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and FEMA’s mapping of SFHAs.