Issue Overview

  • Model building codes govern all aspects of construction and help to protect homes and office buildings from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fire, ice storms and other natural catastrophes.
  • A uniform statewide adoption and enforcement of model building codes by states will help to eliminate long-term risks affecting people, property, the environment and ultimately the economy.
  • With billions of dollars paid by the federal government and the private sector for disaster relief and rebuilding communities, legislation to encourage the widespread adoption of model building codes would enhance the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) goal of making sure our cities and towns are better equipped to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters.
  • A 2005 National Institute of Building Sciences’ study concluded that for every $1 spent on mitigation at the federal level, the American taxpayer saves $4 in disaster assistance.

States with a Statewide Building Code

Safe Building Code Incentive Act

  • On April 14, 2015, U.S. Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) introduced the Safe Building Code Incentive Act into the 114th Congress.
  • The legislation would amend the Stafford Act to enhance existing mitigation programs by encouraging states to voluntarily adopt and enforce nationally recognized model building codes for residential and commercial structures in order to qualify for an additional four percent of funding available for post-disaster grants.
  • The law would be administered by FEMA and would not require any additional appropriations.


Key Facts
Frequently Asked Questions
Congressional Testimony