PA 10-139—sSB 302

Planning and Development Committee

Environment Committee

Commerce Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING STATE FUNDING OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING LOCATED IN A FIVE-HUNDRED-YEAR FLOOD PLAIN

SUMMARY: This act creates exceptions to the prohibition against building between the 100-year and the 500-year-flood plains for state-funded housing reconstruction, rehabilitation, or renovation as long as the state agency providing funding certifies that it complies with the provisions of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the requirements of the act. The exceptions are:

1. projects involving renovation or rehabilitation of existing housing on the Department of Economic and Community Development's (DECD) most recent affordable housing appeals list,

2. construction of minor structures to an existing building for the purpose of providing handicapped accessibility pursuant to the State Building Code, and

3. construction of open decks attached to residential structures that are properly anchored in accordance with the State Building Code.

The act also permits the demolition and reconstruction of existing housing for low- and moderate income housing provided there is no increase in the number of units and the:

1. reconstruction is limited to the footprint of the existing foundation of the building or buildings which could be used for low- and moderate-income housing after the reconstruction or

2. reconstruction is on a parcel of land where the elevation is above the 100-year flood elevation, provided there is no placement of fill within an adopted Federal Emergency Management Agency flood zone.

The act exempts proposed DECD projects from the prohibition against building in a flood plain in a drainage basin of less than one square mile.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

BACKGROUND

100- and 500-Year-Flood Plains

The 100-year-flood plain is the area that has a 1% chance to be flooded each year. The 500-year-flood plain is the area that has a 0. 2% chance to be flooded each year. The chance of a given year having a particular flood is not related to what happened in a previous year. For example, it is possible, though unlikely, that 500-year-floods may happen in consecutive years.

National Flood Insurance Program

The NFIP enables property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance as a protection against flood losses in exchange for state and community floodplain management regulations that reduce future flood damages. Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between communities and the federal government (44 CFR 59 et seq. ).

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