September 15, 2021

Congresswoman Watson Coleman Leads Letter to HUD Secretary Regarding Homes Sold in Flood Zones

Recent NPR investigation indicated homes sold by HUD were 75 times more likely to be in flood zones.

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) lead 15 of her House Democratic Colleagues in a letter to Secretary Marica Fudge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) seeking a response to a recent NPR investigation that claimed HUD was far more likely to sell homes in federally designated flood zones. Buyers were often unlikely to receive information about flood risk and flood insurance.

“We write to express our concerns of a recent investigation, conducted by NPR, which showed that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had historically sold homes disproportionately located in flood-prone places” read the Letter. “With the recovery and rebuild of Ida still on the forefront of our Nation’s mind, this article is of grave concern.”

Between 2017 and 2020, HUD sold nearly 100,000 homes around the country, often after the previous owner was unable to pay their federally insured mortgage. NPR’s investigation emphasized that these homes were 75 times more likely to be sold in a federally designated flood zone versus homes sold nationwide.

The letter requested information on the total number of homes sold between January 217 and the present that HUD had sold in flood prone areas, steps HUD is taking to to disclose to potential homebuyers that homes under HUD are at risk of flooding, how HUD is following up with homebuyers who purchased homes during this period and are at risk of flooding, and what additional resources HUD will provide to those who have brought homes in flood prone areas.

The letter was signed by Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Alma Adams (NC-12), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Cori Bush (MO-1), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-3), Al Lawson (FL-5), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jerry McNerny (CA-9), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Debbie Wasserman Shultz (FL-23), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24).

Click here to read the full letter.