African American Mayors Association Calls for Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP)

Published on November 29, 2023

(Washington D.C.) November 29, 2023 – The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) today submitted a letter to Chairman Brown and Ranking Member Scott of the Senate Committee on Banking, as well as Chairman McHenry and Ranking Member Waters of the House Committee on Financial Services in support of the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP) Reauthorization Act of 2023 (H.R.4349/S.2142). As Congress considers the NFIP, AAMA calls on leadership to pass legislation that can help our communities overcome decades of disparities resulting in poorer people and communities of color bearing a disproportionate burden of uninsured flood risk, mortgage delinquency, and wealth destruction.

“Recent severe weather across the country has had disastrous economic impacts on our cities and put countless residents and their families at financial risk. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 15 climate disaster events in the first 7 months of 2023, each recorded losses exceeding $1 billion. This is the highest number of billion-dollar disasters ever recorded for the first seven months of a year since NOAA began tracking these events in 1980,” said AAMA President and Mount Vernon, NY Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard. “The federal government must expand its investments in FEMA and the NFIP. It is a direct investment in the cities we lead and the communities we are charged with protecting from the damages of natural disasters.”

AAMA recommends the 2023 NFIP Reauthorization Bill prioritize disadvantaged communities in the following ways:

  1. Establish an affordability program within the NFIP.
  2. Support more accurate flood mapping used for floodplain management. There are numerous data sources to model flood risk on a national level that could be leveraged to improve a more extensive area-by-area analyses are conducted in higher risk and/or historically disadvantaged areas. By using a high confidence flood data set from different areas of the country, a simple comparison of which data set or combination thereof matches FEMA’s data could be completed and used as a best-in-class, low-cost, basis for SFHA determination.
  3.  Require FEMA to explore ways to streamline the purchase of flood insurance in general.

With these recommendations, AAMA mayors are hopeful that the final NFIP Reauthorization Bill will meet the moment and provide much-needed support for our communities. Our communities will be better for it.


The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) is the only organization dedicated to representing over 500 African American mayors across the United States. AAMA seeks to empower local leaders for the benefit of their citizens. The role of the AAMA includes taking positions on public policies that impact the vitality and sustainability of cities; providing mayors with leadership and management tools; and creating a forum for member mayors to share best practices related to municipal management.