Our national affiliate, the National Association of Home Builders, recently reached an agreement with leaders of the House Financial Services Committee to craft a viable, long-term flood insurance reauthorization bill that will keep the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) fiscally sound and enable home builders to provide safe and affordable housing to consumers.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NIFP) was originally created by Congress in 1968 and it allows property owners to purchase insurance, administered by FEMA, which protects against losses from flooding as an alternative to disaster assistance. The current iteration of the program is set to sunset in September 2017. After negotiations with the House Financial Services Committee, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has announced their support for House of Representatives (H.R.) bill 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act.
According to NAHB, “amendments to H.R. 2874 remove language on new construction and grandfathering that would have had drastic, long-term effects on the affordability and accessibility of flood insurance for middle-class Americans. With these modifications, grandfathering will remain available for all policyholders if their risk changes, and new construction will continue to have full access to the NFIP. Additionally, we applaud the modification of the change to the annual premium floor for increases to 6.5% instead of 8%, as originally proposed.”
This bill would reauthorize the flood insurance program for five years and includes other NAHB supported modifications, such as:
- Streamlines the mapping process by requiring FEMA to create minimum standards for locally developed maps
- Expands the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC)
- Includes an equivalency fee on all private insurance policies to ensure mapping and mitigation efforts continue to be funded
NAHB is asking the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 2874 as soon as possible, ahead of the September 30, 2017 deadline. The reauthorization of this program would be a big win for home builders across the country, including in the Portland Metro region. HBA will update our members accordingly on the outcome of this legislation.