Tuesday, the day the current National Flood Insurance Program was set to expire, the Senate passed yet another short-term extension of the program.
The House of Representatives already passed the extension Wednesday, sending it to the Senate for a vote. The legislation will extend the program until November 30, 2018, once signed into law by President Donald Trump.
“We thank Senate leadership for extending the National Flood Insurance Program and providing four additional months of funding,” said Jim Nussle, Credit Union National Association president and CEO. “It's vital that flood insurance premiums remain affordable so that credit union members in parts of the country where this type of insurance is required are not shut out of the opportunity to own a home.”
But while the housing industry is pleased Congress did not let the current program expire, it also emphasized the need to create a long-term solution.
“We applaud lawmakers for taking this needed action to prevent disruptions to closings in thousands of communities across the country,” said Elizabeth Mendenhall, National Association of Realtors president. “Although the National Flood Insurance Program will be extended through November 30th when signed into law, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make it solvent and sustainable in the long term.”
“The National Association of Realtors will continue fighting for these reforms as the next NFIP reauthorization discussions loom later this year,” Mendenhall said.
Earlier this month, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and 61 members of Congress demanded a long-term reauthorization of the controversial National Flood Insurance Program.
The NFIP was established in 1968, and authorization for the program is administered by Federal Emergency Management Agency.
According to FEMA’s website, “The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations.”
This bill is the latest in a series of short-term fixes as the NFIP continues to be pushed back by a series of short-term bills funding the program for just a few months at a time.
Back in November, the House of Representatives passed long-term reauthorization of the program, but this bill never made it through Congress.
“Affordable and readily available flood insurance is vital for the more than 20,000 communities across the United States that depend on the National Flood Insurance Program,” said Rebeca Romero Rainey, Independent Community Bankers of America president and CEO. “A long-term reauthorization of the NFIP is needed to ensure coverage remains available to affected communities and to avoid further disruptions to the market.”