FTDD joins other organizations seeking flood risk protection for residents

Published 12:17 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Local groups across the country, including the First Tennessee Development District in Tennessee, 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 a 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 or any history of flooding or flooding damages known to a seller or lessor.
Chris Craig, Executive Director of the FTDD stated, “Simply put, a federal flood disclosure law would protect many American families including those right here in Northeast Tennessee. Buying a home is the single biggest investment of many people’s lives, and a federal flood risk disclosure standard helps protect that investment.”

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