NAHB Applauds President Trump’s Order Rescinding Overreaching Flood Standard

Filed in Codes and Regulations, Environmental, Multifamily by on August 15, 2017 9 Comments

In response to the charge led by NAHB and as part of an Executive Order to expedite federal approval for infrastructure projects, President Trump today revoked Obama’s flawed EO 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS).

This is a huge victory for NAHB and its members, as the association fought this overreach from the beginning – including participation in eight federal listening sessions, countless meetings and comment letters to the federal agencies (HUD, FEMA, Corps, and EPA) who sought to implement it, and most recently, requests to the White House asking President Trump to revoke it.

Trump unilaterally revoked a standard that would have dramatically expanded regulated floodplain areas without congressional oversight, new floodplain maps, supporting technical data or comprehensive regulatory impact and cost-benefit analyses.

“NAHB commends President Trump for signing the Executive Order rescinding the FFRMS, an overreaching environmental rule that needlessly hurt housing affordability,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald.

“The FFRMS posed unanswered regulatory questions that would force developers to halt projects and raise the cost of housing. This action by President Trump will provide much-needed regulatory relief for the housing community and help American home buyers.”

The federally regulated floodplain would have been expanded well beyond the FEMA 100-year floodplain for all federally funded projects as well as single-family homes and multifamily projects reliant upon FHA mortgage insurance.

  • Single-family homes using FHA mortgage insurance would have had to be elevated an additional two feet when built or substantially improved within the 100-year floodplain.
  • Multifamily builders would have faced the added burden of the new two-foot elevation requirement when using FHA mortgage insurance for new construction or substantial rehabilitation projects both within the 100-year floodplain and in a horizontally expanded FFRMS floodplain area for which maps do not exist.
  • The new flood risk measures also would have applied additional elevation and flood-proofing requirements to projects that use federal grants, such as the HOME Investment Partnerships and Community Development Block Grant programs.

In addition to revoking the flawed floodplain requirements of the FFRMS, Trump’s order will streamline the federal approval process for building roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects upon which all home builders and developers rely.

Today’s order establishes “one federal decision” for major projects and sets a two-year goal for federal permitting.  The order will streamline the federal permitting process by expediting approvals by multiple agencies and minimizing duplicative reviews.

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  1. Virge Temme says:

    It troubles me that the NAHB feels the need to add adjectives to its report…adjectives such as “flawed”, “onerous”. Please report just the facts, and let members decide for themselves.

    The floodplain regulations enacted by the previous administration were meant to preserve the homes of Americans who might not have insurance, and to prevent re-building in areas prone to flooding. These regulations may somewhat impact the construction of new buildings in certain areas; but they keep insurance costs for the rest of us who have insurance…and they keep FEMA costs down for all taxpayers…except of course the current President who boasts about not paying his taxes!

    • Jody Grumble says:

      Well said,
      Smart growth as a nation means it is imperative to know where it is smart to build and where it is simply not smart to build. It makes sense to keep construction out of areas that will mean a high probability of future loss, and as you mentioned, this will keep insurance rates and taxes down for everyone.

  2. Mella Pool says:

    Great

  3. Gina K says:

    It will be interesting to observe if homebuyers will be able to obtain affordable flood insurance for homes built within an area subject to flooding from extreme weather events that are becoming much more common. I suppose builders will get more work rebuilding at the expense of others.

  4. Charlie Ruma says:

    God Bless Donald Trump.

  5. Gloria says:

    Really, do you have to get political? You know most of the country hates that flawed Presidnet!

  6. Here in SC, these are some strong changes! Our low country areas are obvious, but the flooding areas are also obvious.
    In 2015 we had our 1000 year rains, lost some dams, and now our “flood areas” will be affected by that once in a 1000 years happening. (We all hope NOT).
    Many of the people, that were harmed by the resulting flooding from those rains, reported to me, that they had just recently received a letter from FEMA, that their home was “No longer in a flood area”!
    In short, the homes that WERE damaged, were not expected to be damaged by flooding, based on the past 100 year levels!
    The immediate rules and building codes required a home to be raised above the highest flood level, and on some homes, it was their rafters!
    So, these no longer flood areas, rolled into the red tape of the government, could not be repaired back to the previous 100 year flood levels.
    A couple in their 60’s owed $180K on their $220K home, but the repairs would be $270K. Borrowed from the SBA (FEMA DOESN’T JUST GIVE MONEY) this couple would have owed $450K on their new $270K home, and their retirement was of course in jeopardy. A dam broke, which is not typical.

    This is an insurance influenced business, being in construction. Everything from residential sprinkler systems, to tying off when above 6 feet from the ground, to flood protection refusal by insurance companies.

    Thank you NAHB for all that you do.
    Seems otherwise, we would be regulated right out of business, or home costs would exceed the “American Dream” so that it would not be possible.

  7. Murray Rust says:

    With the clear vision of what is happening in Houston, it is apparent that NAHB was on the wrong side of this issue. It is in no one’s interest that homes be built where they are likely to be damaged or totally destroyed by flooding. Going forward flooding is going to be worse not better than it has been in the past.

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