The American Institute of Architects (AIA) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act on Feb. 29. The legislation reauthorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency and calls for a major review of disaster cost trends that will include proposals for mechanisms and incentives to reduce disaster costs. The review will include recommendations to FEMA and Congress.
“A new assessment of disaster costs is long overdue, and will provide valuable information to better manage the spiraling costs of disaster assistance incurred by the American taxpayer,” said AIA President Russell Davidson, FAIA. “We are especially gratified that the legislation calls on representatives of the construction and building industry—including architects—to take part in this comprehensive review. HR 1471 represents a major opportunity for our profession to have a say in developing proposals that could have an immediate impact on federal resilience policy. Furthermore, input from architects is a necessary ingredient for the federal government to develop a comprehensive mitigation investment strategy, leading to recommendations that will reduce the loss of life and property, while enabling cost savings and improved efficiency and effectiveness for FEMA.”
Founded in 1857, the AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world.