Tampa Bay homeowners protest FEMA - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay homeowners protest FEMA

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Pinellas County Pinellas County

A group of Tampa Bay area homeowners are joining a grassroots effort called Stop FEMA Now to fight back against increased flood insurance rates.

The Biggert-Waters act will end subsidies to flood insurance policies. This could raise many local homeowner's rates dramatically. Many of them are planning a rally this Saturday at Ballast Point in Tampa at noon.  The rally is part of a nationwide rally in 10 states.

Kenneth Strickland
 is one of the local organizers. He said he would not have bought his home in Northeast St. Petersburg two years ago if he had known about the insurance increase."We don't live on the water, but are a few doors down from a canal and even still our flood insurance has the potential to become unaffordable and could kick us out of our house," said Strickland.

 Related story: 09/05/2013 Tampa Bay realtors worry about flood insurance rate hike


Cities are also fighting back. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster is in Tallahassee Tuesday speaking to Governor Rick Scott's cabinet about how the rate increases will affect communities barely recovering from the recession. "It will have a chilling effect on property sales and property values. We clawed our way out of the recession and are doing well. This would really have an impact. We're ground zero," said Foster.

Pinellas County has 37% of all the subsidized flood insurance policies nationwide.

Senator Bill Nelson sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott today, that said he filed a bill to delay the rate increases, and asking for his help in getting Republicans to support it.

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