Pascrell, Reed, DeFazio, Diaz-Balart Introduce Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act
Bipartisan legislation will help home and business owners rebuild following natural disasters
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Tom Reed (R-NY-23), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) today introduced the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act, legislation that will create a $3,000 tax credit for homes and a $25,000 tax credit for business to help their owners rebuild after natural disasters.
In 2019 alone, the United States experienced 14 separate billion-dollar natural disasters. 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.
“We are in the midst of hurricane season that has already caused massive devastation. The alarming growth of natural disasters is particularly perilous for home and business owners who must find ways to rebuild in the aftermath,” said Rep. Pascrell, a cosponsor of the Green Act (H.R. 7330) and the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2). “In New Jersey we know well the terrible impact of major storms and flooding. The damage of Superstorm Sandy was so catastrophic, Garden Staters are still putting the pieces back together years later. 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.”
“As the ferocity of natural disasters and flooding across the country continues to rise, we must ensure our communities are best positioned to bounce back and withstand the effects of future storms,” said Rep. Tom Reed. “This legislation provides homeowners and local employers with fair incentives to prioritize smarter construction practices, while also helping the country boost its overall climate resiliency. We will continue to advocate for solutions that strengthen our communities and reduce the financial hardship caused by disasters.”
“It’s past time for transformational investments to make our infrastructure smarter, safer, and resilient,” said Rep. DeFazio, Chair 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.”
“I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of this legislation that incentivizes homeowners and building owners who use resilient construction methods in federally-declared disaster areas,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart. The threat of a hurricane and other natural disasters is something we should never overlook. Having robust, resilient infrastructure is the first step in not only saving taxpayer dollars and minimizing property damage but also reducing the risk of fatalities. I thank Reps. Pascrell, Reed, and DeFazio for their dedicated work on this issue.”
“I am proud that my former colleagues Bill Pascrell, Mario Diaz-Balart, Pete DeFazio, and Tom Reed have worked together to improve and reintroduce the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act. I introduced the original version in 2012 as a response to tornadoes and floods that had impacted our communities,” said former member of Congress Geoff Davis (R-KY-04). “The goal of the bill is to encourage homeowners and businesses to rebuild using Resilient Construction principles that reduce risk to life and property, assure structures survive catastrophic natural events, and reduce the life cycle cost of a property. This version of the Act is a collaborative effort among a coalition of stakeholders and produced a bill that will help Americans who experience destructive natural events like floods, storms, forest fires, and earthquakes.”
“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,” said Mike Philipps, President of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association. “If we want resilient communities, we must incentivize building to higher standards. This bill will promote resilient construction for safer, stronger homes and businesses.”
“The National Association of Home Builders commends Reps. Bill Pascrell and Tom Reed for introducing the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act,” said Chuck Fowke, Chairman, National Association of Home Builders. “By using the tax code to encourage resiliency, particularly during post-disaster reconstruction, the bill will ensure that housing affordability is not jeopardized and spur job creation while allowing for flexibility on code requirements. We believe Congress should be providing incentives like these to retrofit older homes. Newly constructed homes are already subject to strong building and disaster mitigation requirements, but older homes are often overlooked.”
“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 2020,” said Dominic Sims, CEO of the International Code Council. “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.”
“In the critical effort to create resilient communities across our country to confront increasing climatic disasters, it is recognized that resilience of the built environment is key component,” said the EPDM Roofing Association. “This legislation incentivizes the private sector to make the financial commitment to begin this necessary effort in the residential and commercial markets.”
“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,” said Roy Wright, CEO, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). “This bill nudges Americans to invest their own resources with a federal tax incentive.”
“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.
This legislation is also supported by: the American Society of Civil Engineers, BuildStrong Coalition, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, North American Concrete Alliance, Portland Cement Association, US Resiliency Council.
A lead cosponsor of the National Disaster Tax Relief Act, Rep. Pascrell has consistently led the fight to provide federal relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy, securing several federal grants for New Jersey as the state continues to rebuild. Rep. Pascrell also excoriated Donald Trump and congressional Republicans last year after they sought to redirect $107 million in disaster relief funds from New Jersey to pay for their deficit-funded tax scam bill ratified in 2017.
Rep. Pascrell’s efforts to protect our environment and combat climate change stem from his mission to leave a better world for future generations. From working with federal officials to clean up Berry’s Creek, to sweeping federal efforts like the Green New Deal, Pascrell continues to work with his colleagues in every level of government to combat climate change head-on and preserve our cherished natural resources. Additionally, in March 2019, Rep. Pascrell led a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross calling on him to initiate an investigation into the threat of carbon pollution pursuant to his authority under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.