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

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Public Law No: 113-89 (03/21/2014)




[113th Congress Public Law 89]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



[[Page 1019]]

           HOMEOWNER FLOOD INSURANCE AFFORDABILITY ACT OF 2014

[[Page 128 STAT. 1020]]

Public Law 113-89
113th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To delay the implementation of certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters 
Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Mar. 
                       21, 2014 -  [H.R. 3370]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Homeowner Flood 
Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short <<NOTE: 42 USC 4001 note.>>  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. <<NOTE: 42 USC 4005.>>  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.).

[[Page 128 STAT. 1021]]

SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 42 USC 4014 note.>> 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 <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  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 <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  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 <<NOTE: Time period.>> 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

[[Page 128 STAT. 1022]]

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) <<NOTE: 42 USC 4015 note.>>  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) <<NOTE: Time period.>> 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;'';

[[Page 128 STAT. 1023]]

            (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. <<NOTE: 42 USC 4015a.>> 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.

[[Page 128 STAT. 1024]]

    ``(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

[[Page 128 STAT. 1025]]

            (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) <<NOTE: 42 USC 4015 note.>>  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.''.

[[Page 128 STAT. 1026]]

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;

[[Page 128 STAT. 1027]]

            ``(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) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  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. <<NOTE: 42 USC 4101d.>> FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP 
                      CERTIFICATION.

    The <<NOTE: Reports.>> 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--

[[Page 128 STAT. 1028]]

            (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 <<NOTE: Applicability.>> 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. <<NOTE: 42 USC 4012a note.>> 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. <<NOTE: 42 USC 4101e.>> 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

[[Page 128 STAT. 1029]]

        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.

[[Page 128 STAT. 1030]]

SEC. 24. <<NOTE: 42 USC 4033.>> 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--

[[Page 128 STAT. 1031]]

                                    ``(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) <<NOTE: 42 USC 4012a note.>>  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)

[[Page 128 STAT. 1032]]

                                        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 <<NOTE: Consultation. Coordination. Regulation
                      .>>  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 <<NOTE: 42 USC 4012a note.>>  (Public Law 112-141; 
        126 Stat. 920) is repealed.
            (3) <<NOTE: 42 USC 4012a note.>>  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) <<NOTE: Deadline. Time period. 42 USC 4102 note.>>  
        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

[[Page 128 STAT. 1033]]

        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.--

[[Page 128 STAT. 1034]]

            ``(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) <<NOTE: Determination. Deadline.>>  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) <<NOTE: Notification.>>  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) <<NOTE: Time period. Consultation.>>  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) <<NOTE: Records. Time period.>>  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

[[Page 128 STAT. 1035]]

                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) <<NOTE: Deadline. Notification.>>  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) <<NOTE: Deadline. Public information. 42 USC 4014 note.>>  
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

[[Page 128 STAT. 1036]]

                    (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).

    Approved March 21, 2014.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 3370:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 160 (2014):
            Mar. 4, considered and passed House.
            Mar. 13, considered and passed Senate.

                                  <all>