In the Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods, the City served 33 homeowners through our pilot Flood Insurance Savings Program. Enhabit coordinated professional surveyors from Otak to take detailed measurements of each home and compare those measurements against the anticipate height of the 100-year flood. Enhabit’s building science experts also assessed homes for improvements that could be made to make them more resilient to flooding, for critical home repairs (like leaky roofs), and for energy efficiency improvements or seismic retrofits.The surveyor then prepared Elevation Certificates for the properties; Elevation Certificates (ECs) are documents that tells FEMA and an insurance company precise information about the actual risk of flooding for each home. In many ways, ECs are the “pathway” for determining how a floodplain homeowner can save money on their flood insurance.
With Elevation Certificates in-hand, homeowners had individualized counselling sessions with a flood insurance expert at Hagan-Hamilton Insurance. Homeowners were presented with a tailored report that outlined their options to reduce their flood insurance. In most cases, we identified ways for homeowners to save hundreds of dollars a year on their flood insurance, controlling escalating costs while still maintaining appropriate coverage against the possibility of disaster.
In the coming weeks, we will share more detailed information about the outcomes of our pilot Flood Insurance Savings Program, but right now we want to share some general observations and insights with the community. We also want floodplain residents to know that the Portland Housing Bureau has requested $200,000 to expand the program to meet the needs of more floodplain homeowners; City Council will be deciding on our request on November 1, 2017. If we are awarded these resources, we plan to scale-up the program to start serving more community members later this year.