As the city digests FEMA’s new maps for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFAP) and how it will impact residents and business owners in coastal neighborhoods like Charlestown, City Councilor Sal LaMattina is calling for a hearing on the issue.
“FEMA has redrawn flood zone maps which are the basis of the NFIP’s regulations and flood insurance requirements,” said LaMattina. “The new flood zone maps could lead to significant increases in flood insurance premiums for coastal property owners with NFIP policies and will likely require some property owners to purchase flood insurance for the first time.”
LaMattina worried that the new flood zone maps and increase in flood insurance rates will affect certain property owners Charlestown.
“It is important for the City of Boston to examine the availability of programs to assist with affordability challenges while maintaining public safety and reducing damage to property infrastructure,” he said. “The City of Boston should also explore expanding upon partnerships with state and federal agencies to assist those property owners impacted by the new flood insurance maps.”
LaMattina is asking now that the appropriate committee of the Boston City Council holds a hearing to examine the impact that the revised flood zone maps and increase in flood insurance rates has on the city.
A date has not yet been set.
Mayor Thomas Menino said the city, in conjunction with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, is in the process of hiring a third-party consultant to review the proposed maps to ensure their accuracy and applicability.
The City will meet with FEMA and the Department of Conservation and Recreation in January and subsequently will schedule three public meetings to be led by FEMA. The City will also host several themed neighborhood meetings to help residents and business owners understand the new maps, and to help guide them to the appropriate resources.
“As a coastal city, we’re committed to accurately identifying the risks from coastal storm flooding and finding ways to support those home and business owners who will be impacted by the remapping of the flood zones,” said Menino. “In the coming months, we’ll identify the effects of these new maps on insurance premiums and will continue to work with our State and Federal partners on solutions to help Boston residents and business owners mitigate increases in their flood insurance costs.”