Flood Insurance Relief Champion

As the Mayor of the second largest city in the State of Mississippi, I know firsthand that one of the biggest issues facing our local communities is the National Flood Insurance Program. About 18 months ago, we started to see that homeowners and businesses were beginning to see steep increases in their flood insurance rates. We took these concerns to our Congressman, and he responded.

Without the leadership and determination of Congressman Steven Palazzo, South Mississippi would be facing drastic flood insurance rate increases. When I and other community leaders asked Congressman Palazzo to help, he not only worked tirelessly to roll back these increases, he became a leader in Congress on this issue. He went to bat for South Mississippi, just like he has done on so many issues over the past four years.

Most of you know that in this day and age, passing any piece of legislation through Congress is not easy. But Steven would not be deterred. He formed the Home Protection Caucus to bring attention to the flood insurance issue. He fought for a year to craft legislation that would fix these rate increases and make sure flood insurance remained available and affordable for those of us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Steven worked with House leadership to draft a bipartisan, bicameral bill that ultimately was signed into law.
Instead of rates increasing drastically, the law will cap flood rate increases for the first time in history. The home sales trigger was removed, assuring property values will not plummet. Grandfathered policies will remain in place. And FEMA will be held accountable to policyholders by making sure they enforce the laws on the books properly and fairly.

His bill, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, shows Congressman Palazzo knows how to get things done in Washington as a conservative lawmaker. It was supported by state and local groups including the Gulf Coast Business Council, the Mississippi REALTORS Association, the Home Builders Association of Mississippi, the American Bankers Association, and many others.

Congressman Palazzo’s bill was critical to communities throughout South Mississippi, and his leadership and resolve ensured its success. We need Congressman Palazzo back in Washington fighting for South Mississippi.


Mayor Billy Hewes
City of Gulfport