Local groups across the country, including 13 Missouri organizations, are calling on congressional leadership to act on legislation that would create a federal flood risk disclosure requirement to protect families, renters, and homebuyers.
At present federal policy requires lenders — and not sellers — to notify borrowers only if they are required to have flood insurance. Recent tools have made flood risk data more available yet, the lack of standard disclosure laws and access creates misunderstanding and gaps in consumer awareness. Disclosure laws already exist as a standard practice for property when it comes to lead paint—flood risk should be no different.
The lack of standard information perpetuates confusion and creates significant financial damage for homebuyers caught unaware of their true flood risk. For families living in 100-year floodplain, the likelihood of a flood occurring during the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage are roughly one in four. The problem is exacerbated for homebuyers and renters that may live outside mapped risk zones and may never be aware of their risk or past flooding on the property.
Current disclosure related legislation in Congress would ensure that homeowners, businesses, and renters are provided with useful, timely information regarding flood risk any history of flooding or flooding damages known to a seller or lessor.
Missouri organizations signing on include: American Planning Association-Missouri Chapter, Bridging the Gap, Citizens’ Committee for Flood Relief, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center, Great Rivers Greenway, Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, Magnificent Missouri, Maryland Heights Residents for Responsible Growth, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper, Missouri River Bird Observatory, Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region, and U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter.
To read the letter, visit https://nfiportal.blob.core.windows.net/images/pdfs/state_support_federal_flood_disclosure.pdf