As deadline looms, housing associations urge reauthorization of flood insurance program

Key Takeaways:

– NAR and MBA are urging Congress to pass a spending bill to avoid the expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
– NFIP has been reauthorized multiple times by Congress, but lapses and short-term extensions create uncertainty
– Without NFIP, families would have limited access to flood insurance and rely on federal disaster aid
– NAR estimates that an extended NFIP lapse could threaten property sales and recovery efforts from flooding
– The House of Representatives passed the provision, awaiting final approval from the Senate
– President Biden is ready to sign the legislation if passed by Congress before the deadline.

HousingWire:

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) are urging lawmakers to swiftly pass a spending bill being deliberated in Congress on Friday to avoid risking the expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which the organizations say could have deeply felt consequences for their members and U.S. homeowners.

“On behalf of 1.5 million members, [NAR] calls on Congress to quickly extend the NFIP before it expires [on March 22],” NAR President Kevin Sears said in a statement released Thursday. “Americans deserve certainty and stability in the flood insurance marketplace so that they can protect their homes, businesses, and loved ones.”

NFIP’s authority has been consistently reauthorized by Congress — 29 times since 2017 — but several brief lapses and a continuous pattern of short-term extensions create uncertainty for real estate markets, Sears said.

“Without access to flood insurance, American families must rely on federal disaster aid, which is severely limited,” Sears said. “NAR estimates that an extended NFIP lapse could threaten 1,300 property sales per day and the recovery of thousands of small businesses and homeowners from the devastating effects of catastrophic flooding.”

On Friday morning, MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit added his perspective to the discussion, similarly seeking swift reauthorization of the program.

“MBA commends congressional leaders and appropriators for including an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program for the remainder of fiscal year 2024 within the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024,” Broeksmit said. “Importantly, that provision was carefully crafted to be retroactive, avoiding any disruption in flood insurance authorities should the House and Senate not meet tonight’s statutory deadline.”

President Joe Biden has said that he is ready and waiting to swiftly sign the legislation passed by Congress ahead of the deadline, and Broeksmit urges lawmakers to do so quickly.

“We urge both chambers of Congress to pass this bill and send it to the President quickly. We will work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle on a long-term reauthorization of this critical program,” he said.

The House of Representatives passed the provision on Friday, sending the measure to the Senate for a final vote of approval. If it passes that chamber, it can proceed to the president’s desk. He would need to sign it prior to midnight on Friday, otherwise a partial shutdown would occur and NFIP authorization would lapse.

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Property Chomp’s Take:

Have you heard about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the potential consequences of its expiration? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) are urging lawmakers to act swiftly and pass a spending bill to extend the NFIP before it expires on March 22.

NAR President Kevin Sears emphasized the importance of providing stability in the flood insurance marketplace for American families. Without access to flood insurance, homeowners would have to rely on limited federal disaster aid, putting property sales and recovery efforts at risk.

MBA President Bob Broeksmit also stressed the need for quick reauthorization of the NFIP, highlighting the retroactive provision included in the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 to avoid any disruptions in flood insurance authorities.

President Joe Biden has expressed readiness to sign the legislation passed by Congress, but it is crucial for both chambers to act swiftly to avoid a partial shutdown and NFIP authorization lapse.

The House of Representatives has already passed the provision and it now awaits approval from the Senate before reaching the president’s desk for signing. Time is of the essence, and lawmakers must come together to ensure the continuation of this critical program.

In conclusion, the NFIP plays a vital role in protecting homes, businesses, and loved ones from the devastating effects of flooding. It is essential for Congress to act promptly and pass the necessary legislation to extend the NFIP before the deadline to provide certainty and stability for homeowners across the country.