Washington, D.C. – March 4, 2014 (Realtor.org) The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Steve Brown:
“The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, H.R. 3370, passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. House today, is a responsible and balanced solution to the dramatic flood insurance rate increases unintentionally triggered by the Biggert-Waters reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program.
“As the leading advocate for homeownership and housing issues, NAR applauds this bill, which protects homeowners from the drastic premium increases that went into effect on October 1, 2013, and holds the Federal Emergency Management Agency accountable for any flood insurance policy changes.
“Homeowners nationwide, on the coasts and also inland, who are experiencing financial hardship because of extreme and sudden premium increases will feel immediate relief from this bill, which ensures a slow and steady phase in of risk-based increases.
“Most importantly, the bill removes FEMA’s authority to increase premium rates to unjustified levels at the time of a property’s sale, which will stabilize local real estate markets and ensure that both property owners and prospective buyers are treated equally.
“NAR data show that through January 2014, four months into the law’s implementation, about 40,000 home sales were estimated to be either delayed or canceled because of increases and confusion over flood insurance rates.
“Realtors® thank the sponsors of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, Reps. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., whose tireless efforts produced a solution that is fair to property owners and taxpayers, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., for his outstanding leadership and advocacy for the bill.
“NAR urges the Senate to act swiftly to pass this urgent legislation and send it to the President for enactment.”
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.