Local Reaction to U.S. House Passage of Flood Bill
In mid-November, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2874: The 21st Century Flood Reform Act which reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years, while taking steps to reform it.
“It passed the House, it’s now in the Senate. So, nothing’s a done deal yet,” said Kent Simpson, 2018 chair of the Arizona REALTORS® Legislative and Political Affairs Committee.
The Arizona Floodplain Management Association (AFMA) supports reauthorization of the NFIP, but issued a release stating that “coastal verses inland rates, exempting commercial properties (and) other appropriate risk assessment info in addition to FIRMs (flood insurance rate maps)…are vague.”
“The Bill addresses a number of pilot programs and data that FEMA will need to initiate and collect. Congress will need to assure that adequate funding is made available to FEMA for implementation. [bold added] AFMA and the Association of State Floodplain Managers will work with FEMA for clarity on what the state’s role and responsibilities will be regarding these programs.” – Dan Cherry, AFMA chair
What can REALTORS® do in the meantime? “They can write their state senators and push for this to get going,” Simpson continued. “They need to pass this before the Christmas break.
“Until we see this come out of committee in the Senate, it’s impossible to predict (the outcome).If they don’t get this through now, we’re going to have thousands of transactions grind to a halt because there’s no flood insurance available for folks to satisfy the conditions of their loans.”
Here are four talking points to share with your Senators (more details here):
- Long-term Reauthorization Is Critical
- Accurate Flood Maps Are Essential
- Risk Mitigation Keeps Rates Affordable
- Private Market Options Must Be Included
House Passage of Flood Bill Critical Step Toward Reauthorization, Reform – NAR (Nov. 14, 2017)