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


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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