The National Flood Insurance Program is now less than one month away from expiration, raising concerns that homeowners, consumers, and commercial property owners could soon find themselves either unprotected or unable to get a mortgage.
In July, the National Association of Realtors® announced it had reached an agreement with the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on key legislation to reauthorize and reform the NFIP with important modifications to retain grandfathering and reduce rate increases. The move offered hope that reauthorization could win swift approval, but with less than a month left before the program expires, real estate professionals say time is running short.
NAR President William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties, believes that Congress needs to take swift action on a short-term extension of the program so they can continue work on the 21st Century Flood Reform Act. He issued the following statement:
“The country has been here before, and we know what happens if the National Flood Insurance Program expires. Homebuying activity grinds to a halt, to the tune of 40,000 lost or interrupted sales every month. Meanwhile, existing homeowners as well as commercial entities may find their largest asset unprotected if the Federal Emergency Management Administration can’t renew NFIP policies that expire.
“Consumers and homeowners alike deserve certainty. With Congress returning from August recess today, extending the NFIP to avoid a lapse should be a top priority.
“Doing so will afford Congress the time necessary to finish work reforming and reauthorizing the program. The House Financial Services Committee has passed vital, long-term reauthorization legislation, which would strengthen the NFIP. These critical reforms are a long time coming, and we look forward to working with the House and Senate pass the 21st Century Flood Reform Act once the threat of a lapse has been addressed.”
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