NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall released the following statement after the U.S. Senate vote on legislation extending flood insurance funding. The bill, which cleared the House last week, was signed into law by the President on July 31, 2018 prior to a midnight deadline.
“We applaud lawmakers for taking this needed action to prevent disruptions to closings in thousands of communities across the country. Although the National Flood Insurance Program will be extended through November 30... 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.”
REALTORS® have been urging extension of the program for months. Almost 125,000 REALTORS®, or roughly 15 percent of the membership of NAR, sent letters to their senators/members of Congress in support of the extension. For further information on NAR’s efforts to extend and reform the National Flood Insurance Program, please visit this link.
FEMA has also been sounding the alarm. They issued the following statement:
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On July 31, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to November 30, 2018.
Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on November 30, 2018.
FEMA and Congress have never failed to honor the flood insurance contracts in place with NFIP policyholders. Should the NFIP’s authorization lapse, FEMA would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation. Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors estimates that a lapse might impact approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month.
NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance. The level of damage from the 2017 hurricanes makes it abundantly clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.