The House on May 16 approved a one-month extension of the program in order to buy time to negotiate a longer-term reauthorization with the Senate. At this time, it is unclear whether the Senate will agree to the 30-day extension.
- Call your Senators at (866) 924-NAHB (6242);
- Write your Senators at www.capitolconnect.com/builderlink.
- Support S. 1940, the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program;
- Support any amendments that removes Section 107 or any “residual risk” language;
The passage of S. 1940 is imperative for the home building industry, however it is not perfect. Section 107 of the bill would require any properties in areas behind dams or levees (known as “residual risk” areas) to purchase flood insurance. For many communities, a great deal of time and taxpayer money was spent to provide additional flood protection for these areas, and in many cases a levee fee is also included in the property tax assessment. To now mandate the purchase of additional flood insurance policies at a cost to the homeowner is simply unfair.
In the past few years, the NFIP has experienced several short-term lapses in authorization, forcing many home buyers to delay or cancel closings due to the inability to obtain NFIP insurance for a mortgage. In other instances, builders were forced to stop or delay construction on a new home due to the lack of flood insurance approval, resulting in unnecessary delays and job losses.
The House has already passed a bipartisan five-year flood insurance reauthorization bill. A Senate version to extend the program for five years has not yet come to the Senate floor for a vote.
While both the House and Senate measures would keep the program running through 2016, significant differences remain between the two bills. Though NAHB strongly supports the House bill, the association has significant concerns with the Senate legislation and continues to work with senators to address these issues.
Established in 1968, the NFIP offers affordable flood insurance to more than 20,000 communities nationwide, and currently covers about 5.6 million policyholders.