Text: H.R.3370 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3370 Enrolled Bill (ENR)]

        H.R.3370

                     One Hundred Thirteenth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Friday,
           the third day of January, two thousand and fourteen


                                 An Act


 
To delay the implementation of certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters 
       Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.
    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Homeowner Flood 
Insurance Affordability Act of 2014''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
Sec. 3. Repeal of certain rate increases.
Sec. 4. Restoration of grandfathered rates.
Sec. 5. Requirements regarding annual rate increases.
Sec. 6. Clarification of rates for properties newly mapped into areas 
          with special flood hazards.
Sec. 7. Premiums and reports.
Sec. 8. Annual premium surcharge.
Sec. 9. Draft affordability framework.
Sec. 10. Risk transfer.
Sec. 11. Monthly installment payment for premiums.
Sec. 12. Optional high-deductible policies for residential properties.
Sec. 13. Exclusion of detached structures from mandatory purchase 
          requirement.
Sec. 14. Accounting for flood mitigation activities in estimates of 
          premium rates.
Sec. 15. Home improvement fairness.
Sec. 16. Affordability study and report.
Sec. 17. Flood insurance rate map certification.
Sec. 18. Funds to reimburse homeowners for successful map appeals.
Sec. 19. Flood protection systems.
Sec. 20. Quarterly reports regarding Reserve Fund ratio.
Sec. 21. Treatment of floodproofed residential basements.
Sec. 22. Exemption from fees for certain map change requests.
Sec. 23. Study of voluntary community-based flood insurance options.
Sec. 24. Designation of flood insurance advocate.
Sec. 25. Exceptions to escrow requirement for flood insurance payments.
Sec. 26. Flood mitigation methods for buildings.
Sec. 27. Mapping of non-structural flood mitigation features.
Sec. 28. Clear communications.
Sec. 29. Protection of small businesses, non-profits, houses of worship, 
          and residences.
Sec. 30. Mapping.
Sec. 31. Disclosure.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
    For purposes of this title, the following definitions shall apply:
        (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
    Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
        (2) National flood insurance program.--The term ``National 
    Flood Insurance Program'' means the program established under the 
    National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.).
SEC. 3. REPEAL OF CERTAIN RATE INCREASES.
    (a) Repeal.--
        (1) In general.--Section 1307(g) of the National Flood 
    Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4014(g)) is amended--
            (A) by striking paragraphs (1) and (2);
            (B) in paragraph (3), by striking ``as a result of the 
        deliberate choice of the holder of such policy'' and inserting 
        ``, unless the decision of the policy holder to permit a lapse 
        in flood insurance coverage was as a result of the property 
        covered by the policy no longer being required to retain such 
        coverage''; and
            (C) by redesignating paragraphs (3) and (4) as paragraphs 
        (1) and (2), respectively.
        (2) Effective date.--The Administrator shall make available 
    such rate tables, as necessary to implement the amendments made by 
    paragraph (1) as if it were enacted as part of the Biggert-Waters 
    Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-141; 126 Stat. 
    957).
        (3) Implementation, coordination, and guidance.--
            (A) Facilitation of timely refunds.--To ensure the 
        participation of Write Your Own companies (as such term is 
        defined in section 100202(a) of the Biggert-Waters Flood 
        Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (42 U.S.C. 4004(a)), the 
        Administrator and the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall 
        consult with Write Your Own companies throughout the 
        development of guidance and rate tables necessary to implement 
        the provisions of and the amendments made by this Act.
            (B) Implementation and guidance.--The Administrator shall 
        issue final guidance and rate tables necessary to implement the 
        provisions of and the amendments made by this Act not later 
        than eight months following the date of the enactment of this 
        Act. Write Your Own companies, in coordination with the Federal 
        Emergency Management Agency, shall have not less than six 
        months but not more than eight months following the issuance of 
        such final guidance and rate tables to implement the changes 
        required by such final guidance and rate tables.
        (4) Refund of excess premium charges collected.--The 
    Administrator shall refund directly to insureds any premiums for 
    flood insurance coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program 
    collected in excess of the rates required under the provisions of 
    and amendments made by this section. To allow for necessary and 
    appropriate implementation of such provisions and amendments, any 
    premium changes necessary to implement such provisions and 
    amendments, including any such premium refund due to policy 
    holders, which shall be paid directly by the National Flood 
    Insurance Program, shall not be charged or paid to policyholders by 
    the National Flood Insurance Program until after the Administrator 
    issues guidance and makes available such rate tables to implement 
    the provisions of and amendments made by this Act.
    (b) Assumption of Policies at Existing Premium Rates.--The 
Administrator shall provide that the purchaser of a property that, as 
of the date of such purchase, is covered under an existing flood 
insurance policy under this title may assume such existing policy and 
coverage for the remainder of the term of the policy at the chargeable 
premium rates under such existing policy. Such rates shall continue 
with respect to such property until the implementation of subsection 
(a).
SEC. 4. RESTORATION OF GRANDFATHERED RATES.
    (a) In General.--Section 1308 of the National Flood Insurance Act 
of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4015) is amended--
        (1) by striking subsection (h); and
        (2) by redesignating subsection (i) as subsection (h).
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall 
take effect as if enacted as part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance 
Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-141; 126 Stat. 957).
SEC. 5. REQUIREMENTS REGARDING ANNUAL RATE INCREASES.
    Section 1308(e) of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 
U.S.C. 4015(e)) is amended--
        (1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking ``, the 
    chargeable risk premium rates for flood insurance under this title 
    for any properties'';
        (2) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``the chargeable risk 
    premium rates for flood insurance under this title for any 
    properties'' before ``within any'';
        (3) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``the chargeable risk 
    premium rates for flood insurance under this title for any 
    properties'' before ``described in'';
        (4) by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2), as so amended, as 
    paragraphs (3) and (4), respectively; and
        (5) by inserting before paragraph (3), as so redesignated, the 
    following new paragraphs:
        ``(1) the chargeable risk premium rate for flood insurance 
    under this title for any property may not be increased by more than 
    18 percent each year, except--
            ``(A) as provided in paragraph (4);
            ``(B) in the case of property identified under section 
        1307(g); or
            ``(C) in the case of a property that--
                ``(i) is located in a community that has experienced a 
            rating downgrade under the community rating system program 
            carried out under section 1315(b);
                ``(ii) is covered by a policy with respect to which the 
            policyholder has--

                    ``(I) decreased the amount of the deductible; or
                    ``(II) increased the amount of coverage; or

                ``(iii) was misrated;
        ``(2) the chargeable risk premium rates for flood insurance 
    under this title for any properties initially rated under section 
    1307(a)(2) within any single risk classification, excluding 
    properties for which the chargeable risk premium rate is not less 
    than the applicable estimated risk premium rate under section 
    1307(a)(1), shall be increased by an amount that results in an 
    average of such rate increases for properties within the risk 
    classification during any 12-month period of not less than 5 
    percent of the average of the risk premium rates for such 
    properties within the risk classification upon the commencement of 
    such 12-month period;'';
        (6) in paragraph (3) (as so redesignated by paragraph (4) of 
    this section), by striking ``20 percent'' and inserting ``15 
    percent''; and
        (7) in paragraph (4) (as so redesignated) by paragraph (4) of 
    this section), by striking ``paragraph (1)'' and inserting 
    ``paragraph (3)''.
SEC. 6. CLARIFICATION OF RATES FOR PROPERTIES NEWLY MAPPED INTO AREAS 
WITH SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARDS.
    Section 1308 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
4015), as amended by the preceding provisions of this Act, is further 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(i) Rates for Properties Newly Mapped Into Areas With Special 
Flood Hazards.--Notwithstanding subsection (f), the premium rate for 
flood insurance under this title that is purchased on or after the date 
of the enactment of this subsection--
        ``(1) on a property located in an area not previously 
    designated as having special flood hazards and that, pursuant to 
    any issuance, revision, updating, or other change in a flood 
    insurance map, becomes designated as such an area; and
        ``(2) where such flood insurance premium rate is calculated 
    under subsection (a)(1) of section 1307 (42 U.S.C. 4014(a)(1)),
shall for the first policy year be the preferred risk premium for the 
property and upon renewal shall be calculated in accordance with 
subsection (e) of this section until the rate reaches the rate 
calculated under subsection (a)(1) of section 1307.''.
SEC. 7. PREMIUMS AND REPORTS.
    Section 1308 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
4015), as amended by the preceding provisions of this Act, is further 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(j) Premiums and Reports.--In setting premium risk rates, in 
addition to striving to achieve the objectives of this title the 
Administrator shall also strive to minimize the number of policies with 
annual premiums that exceed one percent of the total coverage provided 
by the policy. For any policies premiums that exceed this one percent 
threshold, the Administrator shall report such exceptions to the 
Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate.''.
SEC. 8. ANNUAL PREMIUM SURCHARGE.
    (a) Premium Surcharge.--Chapter I of the National Flood Insurance 
Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4011 et seq.) is amended by inserting after 
section 1308 the following new section:
``SEC. 1308A. PREMIUM SURCHARGE.
    ``(a) Imposition and Collection.--The Administrator shall impose 
and collect an annual surcharge, in the amount provided in subsection 
(b), on all policies for flood insurance coverage under the National 
Flood Insurance Program that are newly issued or renewed after the date 
of the enactment of this section. Such surcharge shall be in addition 
to the surcharge under section 1304(b) and any other assessments and 
surcharges applied to such coverage.
    ``(b) Amount.--The amount of the surcharge under subsection (a) 
shall be--
        ``(1) $25, except as provided in paragraph (2); and
        ``(2) $250, in the case of a policy for any property that is--
            ``(A) a non-residential property; or
            ``(B) a residential property that is not the primary 
        residence of an individual.
    ``(c) Termination.--Subsections (a) and (b) shall cease to apply on 
the date on which the chargeable risk premium rate for flood insurance 
under this title for each property covered by flood insurance under 
this title, other than properties for which premiums are calculated 
under subsection (e) or (f) of section 1307 or section 1336 of this Act 
(42 U.S.C. 4014, 4056) or under section 100230 of the Biggert-Waters 
Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (42 U.S.C. 4014 note), is not less 
than the applicable estimated risk premium rate under section 
1307(a)(1) for such property.''.
    (b) Deposit in Reserve Fund.--Subsection (c) of section 1310A of 
the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4017a) is amended 
by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
        ``(4) Deposit of premium surcharges.--The Administrator shall 
    deposit in the Reserve Fund any surcharges collected pursuant to 
    section 1308A.''.
SEC. 9. DRAFT AFFORDABILITY FRAMEWORK.
    (a) In General.--The Administrator shall prepare a draft 
affordability framework that proposes to address, via programmatic and 
regulatory changes, the issues of affordability of flood insurance sold 
under the National Flood Insurance Program, including issues identified 
in the affordability study required under section 100236 of the Bigger-
Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-141; 126 
Stat. 957).
    (b) Criteria.--In carrying out the requirements under subsection 
(a), the Administrator shall consider the following criteria:
        (1) Accurate communication to consumers of the flood risk 
    associated with their properties.
        (2) Targeted assistance to flood insurance policy holders based 
    on their financial ability to continue to participate in the 
    National Flood Insurance Program.
        (3) Individual or community actions to mitigate the risk of 
    flood or lower the cost of flood insurance.
        (4) The impact of increases in risk premium rates on 
    participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
        (5) The impact flood insurance rate map updates have on the 
    affordability of flood insurance.
    (c) Deadline for Submission.--Not later than 18 months after the 
date on which the Administrator submits the affordability study 
referred to in subsection (a), the Administrator shall submit to the 
full Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the full 
Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the full Committee on 
Financial Services and the full Committee on Appropriations of the 
House of Representatives the draft affordability framework required 
under subsection (a).
    (d) Interagency Agreements.--The Administrator may enter into an 
agreement with another Federal agency to--
        (1) complete the affordability study referred to in subsection 
    (a); or
        (2) prepare the draft affordability framework required under 
    subsection (a).
    (e) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to provide the Administrator with the authority to provide 
assistance to homeowners based on affordability that was not available 
prior to the enactment of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act 
of 2012 (Public Law 112-141; 126 Stat. 916).
  SEC. 10. RISK TRANSFER.
    Section 1345 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
4081) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(e) Risk Transfer.--The Administrator may secure reinsurance of 
coverage provided by the flood insurance program from the private 
reinsurance and capital markets at rates and on terms determined by the 
Administrator to be reasonable and appropriate, in an amount sufficient 
to maintain the ability of the program to pay claims.''.
  SEC. 11. MONTHLY INSTALLMENT PAYMENT FOR PREMIUMS.
    (a) In General.--Subsection (g) of section 1308 of the National 
Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4015(g)) is amended by striking 
``either annually or in more frequent installments'' and inserting 
``annually or monthly''.
    (b) Implementation.--The Administrator shall implement the 
requirement under section 1308(g) of the National Flood Insurance Act 
of 1968, as amended by subsection (a), not later than the expiration of 
the 18-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.
  SEC. 12. OPTIONAL HIGH-DEDUCTIBLE POLICIES FOR RESIDENTIAL 
      PROPERTIES.
    Section 1306 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
4013) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(d) Optional High-Deductible Policies for Residential 
Properties.--
        ``(1) Availability.--In the case of residential properties, the 
    Administrator shall make flood insurance coverage available, at the 
    option of the insured, that provides for a loss-deductible for 
    damage to the covered property in various amounts, up to and 
    including $10,000.
        ``(2) Disclosure.--
            ``(A) Form.--The Administrator shall provide the 
        information described in subparagraph (B) clearly and 
        conspicuously on the application form for flood insurance 
        coverage or on a separate form, segregated from all unrelated 
        information and other required disclosures.
            ``(B) Information.--The information described in this 
        subparagraph is--
                ``(i) information sufficient to inform the applicant of 
            the availability of the coverage option required by 
            paragraph (1) to applicants for flood insurance coverage; 
            and
                ``(ii) a statement explaining the effect of a loss-
            deductible and that, in the event of an insured loss, the 
            insured is responsible out-of-pocket for losses to the 
            extent of the deductible selected.''.
  SEC. 13. EXCLUSION OF DETACHED STRUCTURES FROM MANDATORY PURCHASE 
      REQUIREMENT.
    (a) Exclusion.--Subsection (c) of section 102 of the Flood Disaster 
Protection Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4012a(c)) is amended by adding at the 
end the following new paragraph:
        ``(3) Detached structures.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
    of this section, flood insurance shall not be required, in the case 
    of any residential property, for any structure that is a part of 
    such property but is detached from the primary residential 
    structure of such property and does not serve as a residence.''.
    (b) RESPA Statement.--Section 5(b) of the Real Estate Settlement 
Procedures Act of 1974 (12 U.S.C. 2604(b)) is amended--
        (1) in paragraph (14), by inserting before the period at the 
    end the following: ``, and the following statement: `Although you 
    may not be required to maintain flood insurance on all structures, 
    you may still wish to do so, and your mortgage lender may still 
    require you to do so to protect the collateral securing the 
    mortgage. If you choose to not maintain flood insurance on a 
    structure, and it floods, you are responsible for all flood losses 
    relating to that structure.'''; and
        (2) by transferring and inserting paragraph (14), as so 
    amended, after paragraph (13).
  SEC. 14. ACCOUNTING FOR FLOOD MITIGATION ACTIVITIES IN ESTIMATES OF 
      PREMIUM RATES.
    Subparagraph (A) of section 1307(a)(1) of the National Flood 
Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4014(a)(1)(A)) is amended to read as 
follows:
            ``(A) based on consideration of--
                ``(i) the risk involved and accepted actuarial 
            principles; and
                ``(ii) the flood mitigation activities that an owner or 
            lessee has undertaken on a property, including differences 
            in the risk involved due to land use measures, 
            floodproofing, flood forecasting, and similar measures, 
            and''.
  SEC. 15. HOME IMPROVEMENT FAIRNESS.
    Section 1307(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the National Flood Insurance Act of 
1968 (42 U.S.C. 4014(a)(2)(E)(ii)) is amended by striking ``30 
percent'' and inserting ``50 percent''.
  SEC. 16. AFFORDABILITY STUDY AND REPORT.
    (a) Study Issues.--Subsection (a) of section 100236 of the Biggert-
Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-141; 126 
Stat. 957) is amended--
        (1) in paragraph (3), by striking ``and'' at the end;
        (2) in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and 
    inserting a semicolon; and
        (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
        ``(5) options for maintaining affordability if annual premiums 
    for flood insurance coverage were to increase to an amount greater 
    than 2 percent of the liability coverage amount under the policy, 
    including options for enhanced mitigation assistance and means-
    tested assistance;
        ``(6) the effects that the establishment of catastrophe savings 
    accounts would have regarding long-term affordability of flood 
    insurance coverage; and
        ``(7) options for modifying the surcharge under 1308A, 
    including based on homeowner income, property value or risk of 
    loss.''.
    (b) Timing of Submission.--Notwithstanding the deadline under 
section 100236(c) of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 
2012 (Public Law 112-141; 126 Stat. 957), not later than 18 months 
after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit 
to the full Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the 
full Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the full Committee 
on Financial Services and the full Committee on Appropriations of the 
House of Representatives the affordability study and report required 
under such section 100236.
    (c) Affordability Study Funding.--Section 100236(d) of the Biggert-
Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-141; 126 
Stat. 957) is amended by striking ``$750,000'' and inserting 
``$2,500,000''.
  SEC. 17. FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP CERTIFICATION.
    The Administrator shall implement a flood mapping program for the 
National Flood Insurance Program, only after review by the Technical 
Mapping Advisory Council, that, when applied, results in technically 
credible flood hazard data in all areas where Flood Insurance Rate Maps 
are prepared or updated, shall certify in writing to the Congress when 
such a program has been implemented, and shall provide to the Congress 
the Technical Mapping Advisory Council review report.
  SEC. 18. FUNDS TO REIMBURSE HOMEOWNERS FOR SUCCESSFUL MAP APPEALS.
    (a) In General.--Section 1363(f) of the National Flood Insurance 
Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4104(f)) is amended--
        (1) in the first sentence, by inserting after ``as the case may 
    be,'' the following: ``or, in the case of an appeal that is 
    resolved by submission of conflicting data to the Scientific 
    Resolution Panel provided for in section 1363A, the community,''; 
    and
        (2) by striking the second sentence and inserting the 
    following: ``The Administrator may use such amounts from the 
    National Flood Insurance Fund established under section 1310 as may 
    be necessary to carry out this subsection.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendments.--Section 1310(a) of the National Flood 
Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4017(a)) is amended--
        (1) in paragraph (6), by striking ``and'' at the end;
        (2) in paragraph (7), by striking the period at the end and 
    inserting ``; and''; and
        (3) by adding at the end the following:
        ``(8) for carrying out section 1363(f).''.
  SEC. 19. FLOOD PROTECTION SYSTEMS.
    (a) Adequate Progress on Construction of Flood Protection 
Systems.--Section 1307(e) of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 
(42 U.S.C. 4014(e)) is amended--
        (1) in the first sentence, by inserting ``or reconstruction'' 
    after ``construction'';
        (2) by amending the second sentence to read as follows: ``The 
    Administrator shall find that adequate progress on the construction 
    or reconstruction of a flood protection system, based on the 
    present value of the completed flood protection system, has been 
    made only if: (1) 100 percent of the cost of the system has been 
    authorized; (2) at least 60 percent of the cost of the system has 
    been appropriated; (3) at least 50 percent of the cost of the 
    system has been expended; and (4) the system is at least 50 percent 
    completed.''; and
        (3) by adding at the end the following: ``Notwithstanding any 
    other provision of law, in determining whether a community has made 
    adequate progress on the construction, reconstruction, or 
    improvement of a flood protection system, the Administrator shall 
    consider all sources of funding, including Federal, State, and 
    local funds.''.
    (b) Communities Restoring Disaccredited Flood Protection Systems.--
Section 1307(f) of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
4014(f)) is amended by amending the first sentence to read as follows: 
``Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this subsection shall 
apply to riverine and coastal levees that are located in a community 
which has been determined by the Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency to be in the process of restoring flood protection 
afforded by a flood protection system that had been previously 
accredited on a Flood Insurance Rate Map as providing 100-year 
frequency flood protection but no longer does so, and shall apply 
without regard to the level of Federal funding of or participation in 
the construction, reconstruction, or improvement of the flood 
protection system.''.
  SEC. 20. QUARTERLY REPORTS REGARDING RESERVE FUND RATIO.
    Subsection (e) of section 1310A of the National Flood Insurance Act 
of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4017a) is amended, in the matter preceding paragraph 
(1), by inserting ``, on a calendar quarterly basis,'' after 
``submit''.
  SEC. 21. TREATMENT OF FLOODPROOFED RESIDENTIAL BASEMENTS.
    The Administrator shall continue to extend exceptions and variances 
for flood-proofed basements consistent with section 60.6 of title 44, 
Code of Federal Regulations, which are effective April 3, 2009; and 
section 60.3 of such title, which are effective April 3, 2009.
  SEC. 22. EXEMPTION FROM FEES FOR CERTAIN MAP CHANGE REQUESTS.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a requester shall be 
exempt from submitting a review or processing fee for a request for a 
flood insurance rate map change based on a habitat restoration project 
that is funded in whole or in part with Federal or State funds, 
including dam removal, culvert redesign or installation, or the 
installation of fish passage.
  SEC. 23. STUDY OF VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY-BASED FLOOD INSURANCE OPTIONS.
    (a) Study.--
        (1) Study required.--The Administrator shall conduct a study to 
    assess options, methods, and strategies for making available 
    voluntary community-based flood insurance policies through the 
    National Flood Insurance Program.
        (2) Considerations.--The study conducted under paragraph (1) 
    shall--
            (A) take into consideration and analyze how voluntary 
        community-based flood insurance policies--
                (i) would affect communities having varying economic 
            bases, geographic locations, flood hazard characteristics 
            or classifications, and flood management approaches; and
                (ii) could satisfy the applicable requirements under 
            section 102 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 
            (42 U.S.C. 4012a); and
            (B) evaluate the advisability of making available voluntary 
        community-based flood insurance policies to communities, 
        subdivisions of communities, and areas of residual risk.
        (3) Consultation.--In conducting the study required under 
    paragraph (1), the Administrator may consult with the Comptroller 
    General of the United States, as the Administrator determines is 
    appropriate.
    (b) Report by the Administrator.--
        (1) Report required.--Not later than 18 months after the date 
    of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the 
    Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and 
    the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives 
    a report that contains the results and conclusions of the study 
    conducted under subsection (a).
        (2) Contents.--The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall 
    include recommendations for--
            (A) the best manner to incorporate voluntary community-
        based flood insurance policies into the National Flood 
        Insurance Program; and
            (B) a strategy to implement voluntary community-based flood 
        insurance policies that would encourage communities to 
        undertake flood mitigation activities, including the 
        construction, reconstruction, or improvement of levees, dams, 
        or other flood control structures.
    (c) Report by Comptroller General.--Not later than 6 months after 
the date on which the Administrator submits the report required under 
subsection (b), the Comptroller General of the United States shall--
        (1) review the report submitted by the Administrator; and
        (2) submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban 
    Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of 
    the House of Representatives a report that contains--
            (A) an analysis of the report submitted by the 
        Administrator;
            (B) any comments or recommendations of the Comptroller 
        General relating to the report submitted by the Administrator; 
        and
            (C) any other recommendations of the Comptroller General 
        relating to community-based flood insurance policies.
  SEC. 24. DESIGNATION OF FLOOD INSURANCE ADVOCATE.
    (a) In General.--The Administrator shall designate a Flood 
Insurance Advocate to advocate for the fair treatment of policy holders 
under the National Flood Insurance Program and property owners in the 
mapping of flood hazards, the identification of risks from flood, and 
the implementation of measures to minimize the risk of flood.
    (b) Duties and Responsibilities.--The duties and responsibilities 
of the Flood Insurance Advocate designated under subsection (a) shall 
be to--
        (1) educate property owners and policyholders under the 
    National Flood Insurance Program on--
            (A) individual flood risks;
            (B) flood mitigation;
            (C) measures to reduce flood insurance rates through 
        effective mitigation;
            (D) the flood insurance rate map review and amendment 
        process; and
            (E) any changes in the flood insurance program as a result 
        of any newly enacted laws (including this Act);
        (2) assist policy holders under the National Flood Insurance 
    Program and property owners to understand the procedural 
    requirements related to appealing preliminary flood insurance rate 
    maps and implementing measures to mitigate evolving flood risks;
        (3) assist in the development of regional capacity to respond 
    to individual constituent concerns about flood insurance rate map 
    amendments and revisions;
        (4) coordinate outreach and education with local officials and 
    community leaders in areas impacted by proposed flood insurance 
    rate map amendments and revisions; and
        (5) aid potential policy holders under the National Flood 
    Insurance Program in obtaining and verifying accurate and reliable 
    flood insurance rate information when purchasing or renewing a 
    flood insurance policy.
  SEC. 25. EXCEPTIONS TO ESCROW REQUIREMENT FOR FLOOD INSURANCE 
      PAYMENTS.
    (a) In General.--Section 102(d)(1) of the Flood Disaster Protection 
Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4012a(d)(1)) is amended--
        (1) in subparagraph (A), in the second sentence, by striking 
    ``subparagraph (C)'' and inserting ``subparagraph (B)''; and
        (2) in subparagraph (B)--
            (A) in clause (ii), by redesignating subclauses (I) and 
        (II) as items (aa) and (bb), respectively, and adjusting the 
        margins accordingly;
            (B) by redesignating clauses (i) and (ii) as subclauses (I) 
        and (II), respectively, and adjusting the margins accordingly;
            (C) in the matter preceding subclause (I), as redesignated 
        by subparagraph (B), by striking ``(A) or (B), if--'' and 
        inserting the following: ``(A)--
                ``(i) if--'';
            (D) by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; 
        or''; and
            (E) by adding at the end the following:
                ``(ii) in the case of a loan that--

                    ``(I) is in a junior or subordinate position to a 
                senior lien secured by the same residential improved 
                real estate or mobile home for which flood insurance is 
                being provided at the time of the origination of the 
                loan;
                    ``(II) is secured by residential improved real 
                estate or a mobile home that is part of a condominium, 
                cooperative, or other project development, if the 
                residential improved real estate or mobile home is 
                covered by a flood insurance policy that--

                        ``(aa) meets the requirements that the 
                    regulated lending institution is required to 
                    enforce under subsection (b)(1);
                        ``(bb) is provided by the condominium 
                    association, cooperative, homeowners association, 
                    or other applicable group; and
                        ``(cc) the premium for which is paid by the 
                    condominium association, cooperative, homeowners 
                    association, or other applicable group as a common 
                    expense;

                    ``(III) is secured by residential improved real 
                estate or a mobile home that is used as collateral for 
                a business purpose;
                    ``(IV) is a home equity line of credit;
                    ``(V) is a nonperforming loan; or
                    ``(VI) has a term of not longer than 12 months.''.

    (b) Applicability.--
        (1) In general.--
            (A) Required application.--The amendments to section 
        102(d)(1) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (42 
        U.S.C. 4012a(d)(1)) made by section 100209(a) of the Biggert-
        Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-141; 
        126 Stat. 920) and by subsection (a) of this section shall 
        apply to any loan that is originated, refinanced, increased, 
        extended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2016.
            (B) Optional application.--
                (i) Definitions.--In this subparagraph--

                    (I) the terms ``Federal entity for lending 
                regulation'', ``improved real estate'', ``regulated 
                lending institution'', and ``servicer'' have the 
                meanings given the terms in section 3 of the Flood 
                Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4003);
                    (II) the term ``outstanding loan'' means a loan 
                that--

                        (aa) is outstanding as of January 1, 2016;
                        (bb) is not subject to the requirement to 
                    escrow premiums and fees for flood insurance under 
                    section 102(d)(1) of the Flood Disaster Protection 
                    Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4012a(d)(1)) as in effect on 
                    July 5, 2012; and
                        (cc) would, if the loan had been originated, 
                    refinanced, increased, extended, or renewed on or 
                    after January 1, 2016, be subject to the 
                    requirements under section 102(d)(1)(A) of the 
                    Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended; 
                    and

                    (III) the term ``section 102(d)(1)(A) of the Flood 
                Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended'' means 
                section 102(d)(1)(A) of the Flood Disaster Protection 
                Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4012a(d)(1)(A)), as amended by--

                        (aa) section 100209(a) of the Biggert-Waters 
                    Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-
                    141; 126 Stat. 920); and
                        (bb) subsection (a) of this section.
                (ii) Option to escrow flood insurance payments.--Each 
            Federal entity for lending regulation (after consultation 
            and coordination with the Federal Financial Institutions 
            Examination Council) shall, by regulation, direct that each 
            regulated lending institution or servicer of an outstanding 
            loan shall offer and make available to a borrower the 
            option to have the borrower's payment of premiums and fees 
            for flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Act 
            of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.), including the escrow of 
            such payments, be treated in the same manner provided under 
            section 102(d)(1)(A) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act 
            of 1973, as amended.
        (2) Repeal of 2-year delay on applicability.--Subsection (b) of 
    section 100209 of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 
    2012 (Public Law 112-141; 126 Stat. 920) is repealed.
        (3) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this section or the 
    amendments made by this section shall be construed to supersede, 
    during the period beginning on July 6, 2012 and ending on December 
    31, 2015, the requirements under section 102(d)(1) of the Flood 
    Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4012a(d)(1)), as in 
    effect on July 5, 2012.
  SEC. 26. FLOOD MITIGATION METHODS FOR BUILDINGS.
    (a) Guidelines.--
        (1) In general.--Section 1361 of the National Flood Insurance 
    Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4102) is amended by adding at the end the 
    following new subsection:
    ``(d) Flood Mitigation Methods for Buildings.--The Administrator 
shall establish guidelines for property owners that--
        ``(1) provide alternative methods of mitigation, other than 
    building elevation, to reduce flood risk to residential buildings 
    that cannot be elevated due to their structural characteristics, 
    including--
            ``(A) types of building materials; and
            ``(B) types of floodproofing; and
        ``(2) inform property owners about how the implementation of 
    mitigation methods described in paragraph (1) may affect risk 
    premium rates for flood insurance coverage under the National Flood 
    Insurance Program.''.
        (2) Issuance.--The Administrator shall issue the guidelines 
    required under section 1361(d) of the National Flood Insurance Act 
    of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4102(d)), as added by the amendment made by 
    paragraph (1) of this subsection, not later than the expiration of 
    the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this 
    Act.
    (b) Calculation of Risk Premium Rates.--Section 1308 of the 
National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4015), as amended by 
the preceding provisions of this Act, is further amended by adding at 
the end the following new subsection:
    ``(k) Consideration of Mitigation Methods.--In calculating the risk 
premium rate charged for flood insurance for a property under this 
section, the Administrator shall take into account the implementation 
of any mitigation method identified by the Administrator in the 
guidance issued under section 1361(d) (42 U.S.C. 4102(d)).''.
  SEC. 27. MAPPING OF NON-STRUCTURAL FLOOD MITIGATION FEATURES.
     Section 100216 of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 
2012 (42 U.S.C. 4101b) is amended--
        (1) in subsection (b)(1)(A)--
            (A) in clause (iv), by striking ``and'' at the end;
            (B) by redesignating clause (v) as clause (vi);
            (C) by inserting after clause (iv) the following new 
        clause:
                ``(v) areas that are protected by non-structural flood 
            mitigation features; and''; and
            (D) in clause (vi) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        before the semicolon at the end the following: ``and by non-
        structural flood mitigation features''; and
        (2) in subsection (d)(1)--
            (A) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) through (C) as 
        subparagraphs (B) through (D), respectively;
            (B) in subparagraph (C) (as so redesignated), by striking 
        ``subparagraph (A)'' and inserting ``subparagraph (B)''; and
            (C) by inserting before subparagraph (B) (as so 
        redesignated) the following new subparagraph:
            ``(A) work with States, local communities, and property 
        owners to identify areas and features described in subsection 
        (b)(1)(A)(v);''.
  SEC. 28. CLEAR COMMUNICATIONS.
    Section 1308 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
4015), as amended by the preceding provisions of this Act, is further 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(l) Clear Communications.--The Administrator shall clearly 
communicate full flood risk determinations to individual property 
owners regardless of whether their premium rates are full actuarial 
rates.''.
  SEC. 29. PROTECTION OF SMALL BUSINESSES, NON-PROFITS, HOUSES OF 
      WORSHIP, AND RESIDENCES.
    Section 1308 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
4015), as amended by the preceding provisions of this Act, is further 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(m) Protection of Small Businesses, Non-Profits, Houses of 
Worship, and Residences.--
        ``(1) Report.--Not later than 18 months after the date of the 
    enactment of this section and semiannually thereafter, the 
    Administrator shall monitor and report to Committee on Financial 
    Services of the House Representatives and the Committee on Banking, 
    Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate, the Administrator's 
    assessment of the impact, if any, of the rate increases required 
    under subparagraphs (A) and (D) of section 1307(a)(2) and the 
    surcharges required under section 1308A on the affordability of 
    flood insurance for--
            ``(A) small businesses with less than 100 employees;
            ``(B) non-profit entities;
            ``(C) houses of worship; and
            ``(D) residences with a value equal to or less than 25 
        percent of the median home value of properties in the State in 
        which the property is located.
        ``(2) Recommendations.--If the Administrator determines that 
    the rate increases or surcharges described in paragraph (1) are 
    having a detrimental effect on affordability, including resulting 
    in lapsed policies, late payments, or other criteria related to 
    affordability as identified by the Administrator, for any of the 
    properties identified in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of such 
    paragraph, the Administrator shall, not later than 3 months after 
    making such a determination, make such recommendations as the 
    Administrator considers appropriate to improve affordability to the 
    Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and 
    the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the 
    Senate.''.
  SEC. 30. MAPPING.
    Section 100216(d)(1) of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform 
Act of 2012 (42 U.S.C. 4101b(d)(1)), as amended by section 27 of this 
Act, is further amended--
        (1) in subparagraph (C)--
            (A) by striking ``subparagraph (B)'' and inserting 
        ``subparagraph (E)''; and
            (B) by striking ``and'' at the end;
        (2) by redesignating subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) as 
    subparagraphs (D), (E), (F), and (H), respectively;
        (3) by inserting before subparagraph (D), as so redesignated, 
    the following new subparagraphs:
            ``(A) before commencement of any mapping or map updating 
        process, notify each community affected of the model or models 
        that the Administrator plans to use in such process and provide 
        an explanation of why such model or models are appropriate;
            ``(B) provide each community affected a 30-day period 
        beginning upon notification under subparagraph (A) to consult 
        with the Administrator regarding the appropriateness, with 
        respect to such community, of the mapping model or models to be 
        used; provided that consultation by a community pursuant to 
        this subparagraph shall not waive or otherwise affect any right 
        of the community to appeal any flood hazard determinations;
            ``(C) upon completion of the first Independent Data 
        Submission, transmit a copy of such Submission to the affected 
        community, provide the affected community a 30-day period 
        during which the community may provide data to Administrator 
        that can be used to supplement or modify the existing data, and 
        incorporate any data that is consistent with prevailing 
        engineering principles;''; and
        (4) by inserting after subparagraph (F), as so redesignated, 
    the following new subparagraph:
            ``(G) not less than 30 days before issuance of any 
        preliminary map, notify the Senators for each State affected 
        and each Member of the House of Representatives for each 
        congressional district affected by the preliminary map in 
        writing of--
                ``(i) the estimated schedule for--

                    ``(I) community meetings regarding the preliminary 
                map;
                    ``(II) publication of notices regarding the 
                preliminary map in local newspapers; and
                    ``(III) the commencement of the appeals process 
                regarding the map; and

                ``(ii) the estimated number of homes and businesses 
            that will be affected by changes contained in the 
            preliminary map, including how many structures will be that 
            were not previously located in an area having special flood 
            hazards will be located within such an area under the 
            preliminary map; and''.
  SEC. 31. DISCLOSURE.
    (a) Changes in Rates Resulting From This Act.--Not later than the 
date that is 6 months before the date on which any change in risk 
premium rates for flood insurance coverage under the National Flood 
Insurance Program resulting from this Act or any amendment made by this 
Act is implemented, the Administrator shall make publicly available the 
rate tables and underwriting guidelines that provide the basis for the 
change.
    (b) Report on Policy and Claims Data.--
        (1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
    enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the 
    Congress a report on the feasibility of--
            (A) releasing property-level policy and claims data for 
        flood insurance coverage under the National Flood Insurance 
        Program; and
            (B) establishing guidelines for releasing property-level 
        policy and claims data for flood insurance coverage under the 
        National Flood Insurance Program in accordance with section 
        552a of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the 
        Privacy Act of 1974).
        (2) Contents.--The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall 
    include--
            (A) an analysis and assessment of how releasing property-
        level policy and claims data for flood insurance coverage under 
        the National Flood Insurance Program will aid policy holders 
        and insurers to understand how the Administration determines 
        actuarial premium rates and assesses flood risks; and
            (B) recommendations for protecting personal information in 
        accordance with section 552a of title 5, United States Code 
        (commonly known as the Privacy Act of 1974).

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.