Real Estate

Top housing trade groups urge Congress to extend National Flood Insurance Program

NAR, NAHB, ABA, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and others up in arms

This week, more than 20 of the top housing trade groups urged Congress to extend the National Flood Insurance Program. 

In 2017, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Flood Reform, Act H.R. 2874, which aims to reform and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program.

The act, reauthorizes the NFIP for five years, introducing private market competition, and providing programmatic reforms to help policyholders. Notably, it also reduces direct spending by $187 million.                                                  

However, as climate change becomes a pressing  issue, multiple organizations and political leaders have denounced the House of Representatives’ move.

The NAR states that climate change is responsible for almost every county in the United States declaring at least one federal disaster.

Furthermore, over the past century, floods have claimed more lives and property than any other natural disaster, according to NAR.

Last week, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters, D-Calif., renewed the call to pass a long-term solution for the National Flood Insurance Program.

This week Walters’ calls for action are joined by some of the most prominent trade associations in the country.

In a letter titled, National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization, the National Association of Realtors along with the National Association of Home Builders, the American Bankers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, warn Congress that failure to reauthorize the program by July 31 will jeopardize an estimated total of 40,000 American homes.

You can read the letter below:

National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization

Dear Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, Leader Pelosi, and Leader Schumer:

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is scheduled to expire in less than a month, on July 31, unless Congress acts to extend the program. The undersigned organizations respectfully urge Congress to take immediate action to avoid a lapse in the NFIP.

The NFIP must be periodically reauthorized. However, Congress has yet to pass a long-term

extension of the NFIP, as debate continues regarding options for reforming the program. This has already resulted in a series of six stop-gap extensions and two brief lapses in 2017 and 2018. Americans deserve certainty and stability in the flood insurance marketplace to be able to protect their homes and loved ones.

A lapse of the NFIP, especially during the height of hurricane season, will leave millions of

Americans at risk and result in severe disruption in the over 20,000 communities across the

United States that depend on the NFIP. Furthermore, a lapse in the NFIP may slow down recovery efforts in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and other States impacted by the devastating 2017 hurricane season by making it harder for disaster assistance recipients to satisfy flood insurance requirements.

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. The undersigned organizations are working with Congress to enact a long-term reauthorization, while also supporting efforts to reform and modernize the NFIP and increase the number of properties insured against the peril of flood. Each of the undersigned organizations is committed to continuing this work; however, it is critical that in the meantime the NFIP remain available to those who need it.

We appreciate and thank you for your continued efforts.

Sincerely,

American Bankers Association

American Insurance Association

American Land Title Association

The Association of State Floodplain Managers

Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers

The Independent Community Bankers of America

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America

Mortgage Bankers Association

National Apartment Association

National Association of Home Builders

National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

National Association of Professional Insurance Agents

National Association of REALTORS®

National Flood Association

National Multifamily Housing Council

Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America

Reinsurance Association of America

United Policyholders

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association

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