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DeFazio, Pascrell, Reed, Diaz-Balart Reintroduce Disaster Aid Bill

Mar 17, 2021
Press Release
Bipartisan legislation will help home and business owners rebuild after natural disasters

U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Tom Reed (R-NY-23) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) today reintroduced the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act, bipartisan legislation that will create a $3,000 tax credit for homes and a $25,000 tax credit for businesses to help their owners rebuild after natural disasters.

“It’s past time for transformational investments to make our infrastructure smarter, safer, and resilient,” said Rep. DeFazio, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “Climate change is the biggest existential crisis of our time, and is clearly driving an alarming increase in the number of natural disasters wreaking havoc on our homes, offices, and communities. Encouraging the use of resilient materials when re-building after disasters will protect Oregonians’ lives and properties and ensure we are investing in forward-thinking, 21st century infrastructure.”  

In 2020, the United States experienced 22 separate billion-dollar natural disasters and 14 such natural disasters in 2019. Every federal disaster declaration results in billions of dollars of unfunded disaster relief. Further compounding the problem, damaged structures are often rebuilt to their original standard, leaving them vulnerable to future disasters.

“As natural disasters grow in frequency and intensity, home and business owners face higher and higher costs to rebuild,” said Rep. Pascrell. “My state New Jersey knows better than most the impact of these storms and of flooding. Our neighbors continue to rebuild almost a decade after Superstorm Sandy breached our shorelines. This watershed bipartisan legislation will help Americans facing the devastating work of rebuilding while simultaneously encouraging construction of resilient structures to protect homes and businesses for the future.”

“We must ensure our communities have the resources and opportunities to effectively rebuild after natural disasters, particularly as extreme weather events and flooding become more commonplace,” said Rep. Reed. “Our Disaster Aid legislation provides homeowners and local employers with fair incentives to prioritize smarter construction practices, better weatherize our communities, and boost America’s climate resiliency. We will continue to push for solutions that best defend our nation against the physical and financial damage of natural disasters.”

“As I have mentioned before, we can never be too prepared for the threat of a hurricane and other natural disasters,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart. “Incentivizing homeowners and building owners who use resilient construction methods not only saves hard-earned taxpayer dollars and minimizes the risk of property damage, but more importantly, reduces the loss of life. I thank my colleagues, Reps. Pascrell, Reed, and DeFazio for their dedicated work on this issue.”

“Building strong homes and businesses with resilient construction techniques saves lives and property, resists the impacts of natural disasters and climate change and ultimately saves money for taxpayers. If we want communities that can withstand wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters, we must incentivize building to resilient standards. This bill will promote resilient construction for safer, stronger homes and businesses,” said Mike Philipps, President, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.

“For two decades, IBHS has worked to identify practical, real-world solutions to help property owners prevent avoidable losses. Our research has demonstrated small changes in construction yield scientifically stronger, more disaster-resistant homes at an affordable cost. This bill nudges Americans to invest their own resources with a federal tax incentive,” said Roy Wright, CEO, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).

“On a near daily basis we are reminded about the devasting impact growing climate risk has on our nation’s communities.  In this vein, we applaud Rep. Bill Pascrell, along with Reps. Tom Reed, Peter DeFazio, and Mario Diaz-Balart for their leadership in introducing the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2021.  By creating new tools that encourage home and business owners to undertake targeted investments in resilient construction and mitigation, this important legislation will ensure individuals and communities across the country are better prepared ahead of the next catastrophe,” said Jimi Grande, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.

“We applaud Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Tom Reed, Chairman Peter DeFazio and Rep Mario Diaz Balart for introducing the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2021. With natural disasters expected to increase in frequency and severity, this legislation would boost our national resilience by providing tax incentives to help Americans strengthen homes and businesses against wildfire, high winds, and other natural hazards through the use of modern building codes and standards,” said Dominic Sims, CEO, International Code Council.

“As recent events in Texas demonstrate, no season nor area of the country is immune to climatic disasters. In the critical effort to create more resilient communities, this legislation incentivizes the private sector to make the financial commitment to begin this necessary effort in the residential and commercial real estate markets,” said the EPDM Roofing Association.

“APCIA supports a multi-pronged approach to address community and individual resiliency to natural disasters, including the development and enforcement of strong building codes and tax incentives to mitigate against losses. Enactment of the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act would be an important component that would allow property owners to address their individual needs, while also improving the resiliency of communities more broadly,” said the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

“One of the best ways to increase individual and business disaster resilience is through investments in residential and structural retrofits and disaster resilient construction. The targeted tax incentives in the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2021 will encourage resilient construction techniques and building or home retrofits to withstand damage from strong winds and flooding and prevent losses from wildfires and seismic events. Through these investments, home- and businessowners ultimately save money through tax savings and avoided recovery costs and losses in the next disaster,” said the  BuildStrong Coalition.

“The CFFA strongly supports the proposals outlined within the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2021. Incentivizing greater investment into the resiliency of the built environment by the private sector while also offering more relief to local communities when facing natural disasters are worthy causes to the members of our organization. This bill would help improve the ability of local communities to better recuperate or withstand the growing number of natural disasters while also helping stimulate economic growth through larger investments in better overall construction practices and materials,” said the Chemical Fabrics & Film Association (CFFA).

Organizations supporting the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act include the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, BuildStrong Coalition, Chemical Fabrics and Film Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Environmental Defense Fund, EPDM Roofing Association. Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, International Code Council, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, North American Concrete Alliance, Portland Cement Association, and U.S. Resiliency Council.