As the fragile housing market begins to stabilize, a crucial federal program that could drastically affect recovery efforts is in jeopardy. The National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire on September 30 for the tenth time in two years. This program ensures access to affordable flood insurance for more than 5.6 million home and business owners in 21,000 communities nationwide.
The NFIP is essential to a properly functioning housing market. Americans deserve access to affordable flood insurance, and the current uncertainty surrounding the program is already hurting many housing markets.
Since September 2008, Congress has approved nine NFIP extensions and allowed five lapses. During the June 2010 lapse, 47,000 home sales were delayed or cancelled, according to National Association of REALTORS® survey data.
In addition to a longer term reauthorization, REALTORS® also support reforming NFIP to strengthen participation and put the program on the path to fiscal solvency by adding coverage options for business interruption and living expenses; indexing coverage limits; improving the scientific integrity of the floodplain mapping that determines where flood insurance is required; and streamlining the map appeals process.
Without this program millions of Americans will be without flood insurance for an uncertain amount of time. We cannot leave these property owners in the dark and we certainly cannot afford to cause any more damage than has already been done to the housing market. Contact your congressional representative ASAP and share your wishes for the NFIP to be strengtheedn and quickly reauthorized.