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Reps. Say Strong Building Codes Equal Disaster Defense

According to Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Albio Sires (D-N.J.), member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the...
October 12, 2011

According to Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Albio Sires (D-N.J.), member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the recent swath of disasters that caused more than $40 billion in damages should prompt lawmakers to adopt actions to mitigate damages in the future and save taxpayers money. They say the national response to disasters should include the statewide adoption of model building codes to make buildings and houses more resistant to nature's forces and that save lives and reduce taxpayer exposure to natural disaster costs.

The Safe Building Code Incentive Act (H.R. 2069), which Diaz-Balart and Sires introduced with Reps. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) and Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), provides states with a financial incentive to voluntarily adopt and enforce a model national building code for construction of new residential and commercial properties, providing them an additional 4 percent in post-disaster relief grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to address long-term hazard mitigation. PIA has endorsed H.R. 2069, as well as the Natural Disaster Mitigation Act of 2011 (H.R. 2099) introduced by Reps. Thomas Rooney (R-Florida) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). If passed, this bill would provide a tax credit to low-income homeowners who take action to protect their properties to reduce vulnerability to damage from natural disasters.