"Build, Flood, Rebuild: Flood Insurance’s Expensive Cycle"

"The National Flood Insurance Program, designed to protect Americans from catastrophic floods, has failed in almost every way, encouraging people to buy and build in flood-prone areas while increasing the cost and magnitude of disasters.

Congress' efforts to reform the program have failed just as thoroughly.

Attempts to fix flood insurance have been derailed repeatedly by special inallisonterests, political expediency and powerful lobbies that have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into congressional campaigns, a three-month examination by the Houston Chronicle reveals. Banks, builders, insurers and real estate agents — supported by property owners and allies in Congress —have combined to thwart even the most practical changes.

Earlier this year, for example, a proposal to stop the federal government from insuring homes built in flood plains beginning in 2021 was scuttled by coastal lawmakers and the National Association of Home Builders, which spent $39 million lobbying Congress since 2005."

David Hunn, Ryan Maye Handy, and James Osborne report December 9, 2017, for the Houston Chronicle as part of its "Developing Storm" series.


Part One: "Developing Storm: A Houston Chronicle Investigation" (Houston Chronicle)

Source: Houston Chronicle, 12/11/2017