Congress Passes Flood Insurance Extension

By HOM Editor

Congress late on Friday, December 21, passed an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, avoiding a lapse that would have begun at midnight. The President signed the bill.

The bill, the “National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act,” authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to enter into new contracts for flood insurance and borrow from the Treasury up to specified amounts through May 31, 2019.

On December 26, FEMA issued an opinion disallowing new or renewal flood insurance policies during the partial shutdown of the federal government, but later reversed that decision following concerns that tens of thousands of pending home sales across the country would be in jeopardy.

“FEMA and the Administration deserve credit for hearing our concerns and acting swiftly to address them,” says National Association of REALTORS® President John Smaby.

“This new decision means thousands of home sale transactions in communities across the country can go forward without interruption, as Congress intended when it renewed the flood insurance program earlier this week. Our research has shown that 40,000 home sales are lost every month that flood insurance is not available.”

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