From Weirton Daily Times:

R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, which describes itself as a “free market think tank,” believes the impact of higher premiums on the real estate market have been overstated. He said Florida, which is home to 2 million of about 5.5 million NFIP-covered properties, actually saw an increase in home sales last year with further, albeit more modest, increases predicted this year.

“We think it was long overdue, that the flood insurance program be reformed,” Lehmann said. “It encourages building in risky zones.”

Both Lehmann and Grande said they would support “need-based” subsidized premium rates to replace the pre-Biggert-Waters policy of providing subsidies even to the wealthiest property owners. They also suggest phasing in increases gradually for new policies, rather than the immediate jump to “full-risk” rates under Biggert-Waters that is making it more difficult to sell property located in a flood zone.

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