Saturday, May 24, 2008

As Costs Rise for Building Materials, How Will that Impact Rebuilding

From NPR's Morning Addition: "In Gulf, the Cost of Rebuilding Homes Soars"

Each year we have large storms which cause extensive damage along the coast. As we have more development on the coast, more property is at risk. Building codes should be an important factor in minimizing damage in coastal communities; however, in this story people are having trouble affording new government guidelines as determined by the National Flood Insurance Program. If people do opt out of the NFIP, they will be putting themselves in harms way. This is a classic trade-off between government protecting public welfare and individual responsibility for rebuilding. The question remains, for many poor people, is insurance a luxury or a necessity? If they do opt out of the program, are they mitigating risk some other way? Is there some point at which the unintended consequences of government policies meant to protect public welfare actually lead to those less fortunate being at greater risk?

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