While recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program will slow the pain of premium hikes for some, this is in no way the end of the battle for many of us.
Owners of second homes and owners of businesses are still discriminated against. If communities lose second homes and small businesses, it presents yet more problems for the economy. If we walk away or lose our homes, our neighborhoods lose all the tax dollars we contribute to the towns for services we hardly even use.
I've been paying taxes for schools, police and firefighters for 21 years. I've also been paying flood insurance for 21 years. But now I can't even live in or rent my house. Yes, I am in a flood zone, but to pay more and get less on the first claim I ever filed was a real slap in the face. Now, they want a $250 fee on top of my premium.
One common myth is that if you have a second home, you must be rich. We worked hard for what we have, and now life has become a daily battle with our banks and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Then there are the vultures who want to buy up our homes for pennies on the dollar, acting like it's a favor. Any educated buyer is aware of this whole problem and will stay away.
A grassroots group that I strongly support - Stop Fema Now - has been a driving force in the changes that have recently taken place. I cannot understand why owners of second homes should be treated any different from primary homeowners. For a country that preaches equal opportunity and enacts laws against discrimination, something is not right here.
We need the politicians to realize that this can't just be an over-and-done deal. Too many people still need so much help. We will not back down, and our numbers are growing. Join Stop Fema Now. There is power in numbers.