The House Financial Services Committee began its much-anticipated review of the issues facing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is set to expire on May 31,2019. In a hearing held on March 13, Committee members discussed the challenges facing the program and a variety of possible reforms to improve its administration, fiscal state and affordability. NMHC and NAA weighed in with Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) in advance of the hearing and submitted a letter outlining the industry’s priorities in the Flood Insurance reauthorization debate.
Chairwoman Waters and other lawmakers put forth several draft legislative proposals to overhaul the NFIP and provide for a five-year extension of the program. The reauthorization and reform of the NFIP remains a top priority for the multifamily industry. Without the NFIP in place, many multifamily firms would be unable to secure necessary flood insurance coverage and would be unable to close or refinance loans if they have any federal involvement, such as FHA- or GSE- backed multifamily mortgages. NMHC and NAA have worked aggressively to educate policymakers about the importance of the NFIP and the unique role it plays in the multifamily industry.
Beyond a long-term reauthorization, NMHC and NAA are calling upon Congress to enact sensible reforms to the NFIP and federal law that would:
- Expand the private flood insurance market;
- Improve 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 Cost Value (ACV); and allowing for multiple buildings or properties to be covered by one NFIP policy;
- Increase the accuracy of the FEMA flood mapping process and overhauling the map appeals process to make it far less costly to individual owners: and
- Prioritize more effective pre-flood mitigation and employ resources to help commercial and multifamily owners benefit from existing mitigation programs.
NMHC and NAA 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 39 million Americans who live in apartments.
For more information on the NFIP and our industry’s advocacy efforts, please click here.