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Houston Matters

New Investigation Reveals What Repeatedly-Flooded Homes Are Costing Taxpayers

State and federal officials are failing to enforce a primary tenet of the taxpayer-subsidized National Flood Insurance Program costing taxpayers more than $1 billion in repeat losses.


Homes are surrounded by water from the flooded Brazos River in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in Freeport, Texas. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


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A new report from the Houston Chronicle says thousands of homes that have been flooded are rebuilt, then flood again, and it's costing taxpayers more than $1 billion in repeat losses.

The Chronicle's investigation says that's because officials aren't enforcing an important rule of the National Flood Insurance Program. That rule requires properties that are severely damaged to be elevated or removed from flood plains. The Houston Chronicle report comes as the NFIP is set to lapse on July 31st if Congress doesn't reauthorize it.

In the audio above, Houston Chronicle reporter Mark Collette talks with Houston Matters' Maggie Martin about his findings.