Northeast Builders

GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: FEMA ISSUES GROUP: MEETING #1

MINUTES – OCTOBER 18, 2013

The first meeting of the FEMA Issues Group was held at 2305 pm via conference call.  Participating on the call were Curt Young, Larry Kady, John Smolak and Ben Fierro.  Not participating were Everett Chandler, John Bologna, Trevor Meyer, and Wayne Tavares.

The focus of the call was on formulating a strategy in connection with the pending FEMA changes related to both mapping as well as premiums.  Although the FEMA issue is primarily a federal issue under the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, the question is what we as an Association can and should be doing at this time.

It appears that our congressional delegation has requested the reopening of a discussion about the Biggert-Waters Act, which is a similar situation among northeastern and southern coastal states.  It’s clear from correspondence filed by our Congressional delegation that they understand the issues, and the question is whether if and when the mapping and rate issues would be revisited.

In the interim, it was suggested that developers affected by mapping changes work with their municipalities to file timely appeals of preliminary NFIP FIRM mapping since an individual cannot file an appeal directly with FEMA on these issues.  On the other hand, developers can employ the use of LOMC (If a property owner thinks their property has been inadvertently mapped in a Special Flood Hazard Area, they may submit a request to FEMA for a Letter of Map Change), LOMA (A LOMA is a letter from FEMA stating that an existing structure or parcel of land – that is on naturally high ground and has not been elevated by fill – would not be inundated by the base flood), or, LOMR-F (.Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill, or LOMR-F, process).

Larry suggested that based upon his discussions with NAHB Officials directly involved with FEMA efforts, that NAHB is working closely with key Congressional members directly working with FEMA and the NFIP.  It appears that the NAHB has suggested that it take the lead on this issue with Congress, with locals to consider holding back on their lobbying efforts at this time, given that the Biggert-Waters Act may see some form of amendments in the future, the scope of which is unclear at this time.

Follow-Up

•Larry Kady will contact the NAHB to confirm current status and direction from NAHB.

•John Smolak to circulate proposed dates for next conference call.

Conference call concluded at 2:45 pm.