With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) operating on yet another short-term authorization that runs until September 30, 2021, Congress has begun work in trying to reauthorize and reform the program on a long-term basis. In recent weeks, committees in both the House and Senate Committee have explored the topic.
House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) released a draft proposal to reauthorize the NFIP for five years, enact a number of reforms to improve the NFIP’s financial standing and forgive over $20 billion in NFIP debt. The Financial Services Committee is likely to consider the measure in the near future, after which it faces an uncertain future in the full House.
And on May 18, NMHC submitted a letter to the Senate Banking Committee as it convened a hearing to discuss a range of issues posing operational and financial challenges to the long-term viability of the NFIP and its continued affordability. In addition to calling on Congress to provide for a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP, NMHC called on lawmakers to enact the following reforms to improve the multifamily and commercial lines of the NFIP to better mitigate the financial risk of flooding events:
- Improving coverage options for multifamily and commercial property owners through the creation of Business Interruption coverage through the NFIP; Moving commercial and multifamily claims to Replacement Cost Value (RCV) as opposed to Actual Cash Value (ACV); and allowing for multiple buildings to be covered by one umbrella NFIP policy.
- Increasing the accuracy of the FEMA flood mapping process and overhauling the map appeals process to make it far less costly to individual owners.
- Prioritizing more effective pre-flood mitigation and employ resources to help commercial and multifamily owners benefit from existing mitigation programs.
NMHC will continue to urge Congressional leaders to take swift action to ensure the program does not lapse and provide a long-term reauthorization and programmatic reforms necessary to ensure the ability of the industry to manage flood risk and provide secure housing for many of the 40 million Americans who live in apartments. For more information on the NFIP and our industry’s advocacy efforts, please click here.