Massachusetts Works with Homeowners to Elevate Coastal Houses
May 25, 2008
May 25, 2008
The State of Massachusetts is urging property owners to raise their houses along the coast one to three feet to help protect them against rising sea levels and storm damage. The State’s new StormSmart Coasts program says that homeowners along the 1700 mile coastline can save money on their flood insurance by elevating their houses.
Each foot of added height to a home built in the floodplain would add 0.25 to 1.5 percent to the total construction cost. But the added construction cost would be more than offset by decreased flood insurance payments. For a $250,000 home, if the added cost was figured at 0.4 percent, it would cost $1,000 for each additional foot. In the example provided by the state program, if an owner added 3 feet of elevation above the minimum legal standard, the owner would save $285 a month in flood insurance. That savings would outweigh the slight increase in mortgage payments for the added construction cost, the state contends.
StormSmart Coasts was created after a two-year study to help coastal communities plan for, manage, and mitigate the problems rising seas are causing now and will make worse. It recently created a website, which offers information and technical tools towns and cities can use for planning and regulations.