This week, House Financial Committee Republicans released a summary document outlining their vision for reform and reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). With the program set to expire on September 30, 2017, NMHC/NAA has been working with lawmakers on a bipartisan and bicameral basis to ensure that the NFIP is reauthorized on a long-term basis and that affordable flood insurance remains available at all times, in all market conditions for every at-risk rental property. Additionally, NMHC/NAA have called for reforms of the program that will increase its ease of use, better mitigate the risk held by multifamily properties in flood prone areas, and continue to lessen pressure on taxpayers in the wake of a disaster.
The House Republican plan for “21st Century Flood Reform,” is a good starting point in the legislative process and includes many NMHC/NAA priorities. Some of the key provisions included are:
- Providing a 5-year reauthorization of the NFIP;
- Bolstering the private flood insurance market by including the NMHC/NAA supported “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act,” which was introduced by Congressman Dennis Ross and Congresswoman Kathy Castor. The legislation clarifies that flood coverage offered by private carriers meets existing federal purchase requirements for properties financed or insured by the federal government, such as Federal Housing Administration or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed multifamily projects;
- Aiming to increase the accuracy of FEMA flood maps and allows for acceptance of community flood maps, where available; and,
- Increasing mitigation funding through the Increased Cost of Compliance coverage and better targets existing mitigation dollars to address those properties that are at high-risk and continually flood.
NMHC/NAA will continue to advocate for a strong NFIP and a complementary private market that ensures all rental properties continue to have access to affordable, quality flood insurance.
As the legislative process moves forward and the actual bill text that will be considered by the House Financial Services Committee is released, NMHC/NAA will work aggressively to educate lawmakers about the critical role that the NFIP plays in all aspects of the multifamily industry and the potential impact of any changes to the program.