Realtors urge action on flood insurance reform

Realtors are urging quick action on the National Flood Insurance Program.While the latest extension to the National Flood Insurance Program isn't set to expire until the end of September, the National Association of Realtors is urging lawmakers to work on a long-term plan for the program.Testifying before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, Realtor Terry Sullivan said that it was important for lawmakers to reform the NFIP, instead of relying on short-term “stopgap” measures used in recent years.”The NFIP was created and continues to address the private market's inability to guarantee access to affordable flood insurance in many real estate markets,” said Sullivan.The program has already expired nine times in the past two years, with one of those lapses causing nearly 50,000 home sales to be delayed. Nationwide, the program insures more than 5.6 million property owners in more than 21,000 communities.A failure to work out a long-term plan for the program could cause issues in many coastal communities nationwide, including the Houston real estate market. Without an active insurance plan, agents can't sell flood insurance, which would hold up any mortgages backed by the government.

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