This week the House Financial Services Committee took another step towards the much-needed reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Committee finished its consideration of numerous pieces of legislation as part of their efforts to reform and reauthorize the NFIP and set it on a more financially solvent path forward.
NMHC/NAA worked closely with the Committee on a wide range of issues and was successful in securing inclusion of many of our industry priorities in the legislative package. In addition to a 5-year reauthorization of the program, the package includes improvements in the mapping and appeals process and provides for a substantial investment in pre-disaster mitigation. Of importance to NMHC/NAA were several provisions that aim to better allow multifamily owners and operators to protect their properties from the continued risk of flood disasters, such as:
- Language that ensures continued access of 2-4 unit structures and all rental properties to the NFIP.
- Efforts to bolster the private flood insurance market through removing cumbersome federal purchase requirements from commercially financed properties.
- A boost in Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) mitigation funding from $30,000 to $60,000 per property.
- Requiring FEMA to provide premium reduction to multifamily and commercial property owners to account for alternative methods of mitigation, such as utility system elevation, since they cannot benefit from traditional methods like building elevation.
Despite calls by some interest groups for further changes like reductions in premiums and surcharges, maintaining revenue levels for insurance carriers, and draconian phase-outs of coverage, seven legislative proposals ultimately passed the Committee. The legislation now will advance to the full House for consideration.
NMHC/NAA are also working closely with the Senate Banking Committee and other interested member offices on legislative efforts in their chamber. Both House & Senate leaders are committed to seeing the NFIP reauthorized before it expires in September 2017.