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Building Code Legislation Seen by NAMIC as ‘Vital’ to Protecting Property

WASHINGTON (Dec. 13, 2007) – The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies today urged members of Congress to support H.R. 4461, the Community Building Code Administration Grant Act of 2007, which was introduced late last night. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., would provide $100 million for Community Development Block Grant funds to help local officials enforce building codes.

“This legislation is vital to enhance and promote safer homes and businesses, especially in areas vulnerable to natural catastrophes,” said Justin Roth, NAMIC’s senior federal affairs director. “Stronger building codes are key to protecting lives and property.”

Building code administration and enforcement is typically funded by states without federal assistance, relying often on building permit fees and sometimes general funding, to operate offices that are overworked and understaffed.

The legislation will provide $100 million over a five-year period to help local and state authorities enact and enforce building codes. It caps awards at $1 million per recipient, requires recipients to match a portion of the funds received, and outlines eligible uses of the money and selected criteria with preference given to governments in financial distress.

Roth pointed to a study by the National Institute of Building Sciences that showed the American taxpayer saves $4 in disaster assistance for every $1 spent on mitigation at the federal level. “This legislation is a perfect compliment to H.R. 3926 from California Rep. Doris Matsui that provides federal incentives for states to adopt strong statewide building codes,” he said. “These two bills acknowledge the great benefit to homeowners of improved building codes and will go a long way toward helping states implement and enforce them.”

For further information, contact
Nancy Grover
(202) 628-1558 Tel
(202) 628-1601 Fax
ngrover@namic.org

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Thursday, December 13, 2007 1:03:34 PM.

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