Originally set to expire on Sept. 30, the National Flood Insurance Program was recently extended to Dec. 8 while Congress mulls reform of the law, which is overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Association. The extension comes at a crucial time as millions in Texas, Florida and southeastern coastal states recover and rebuild after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma ravaged the states.
The NFIP extension is part of Congress’ approval of raising the country’s debt limit. Currently, the program authorizes $15.25 billion in funds for disaster relief and rebuilding, including $7.8 billion for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
The program is for homeowners, business owners and renters in more than 20,600 communities around the country to help pay for damage to buildings and their contents as a result of flooding.
“[A]s the damage from Hurricane Irma unfolds, it is especially important that the men and women in the Southeast and our Caribbean territories stand strong and rest assured that this Administration will always put the needs of the American people above partisan politics as usual,” President Trump said while signing the measure on Sept. 9, according to Insurance Journal.
The National Association of Realtors has voiced its support of the NFIP, as well as the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, which would, among other provisions, reauthorize the NFIP for five years; limit maximum flood insurance premiums to no more than $10,000 per year for residential properties; and includes $1 billion in pre-flood mitigation grants so owners can elevate, flood proof, buyout or mitigate high-risk properties.