On June 29, 2012, the Senate and House passed the Flood Insurance Reform Act as a part of H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Conference Report. President Obama will sign the measure into law in a few days. This is the culmination of a successful multi-year REALTOR campaign and a final push at NAR's Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in May 2012.
It would not have been possible without the leadership of Reps. Biggert, Waters, Bachus and Frank, as well as Sens. Johnson, Shelby, Tester and Vitter.
Since 2008, Congress had been extending the National Flood Insurance Program a few months at a time. Twice this led to shutdowns, including one that stalled more than 40,000 home sales in June 2010 alone. Passage of this 5-year re-authorization will bring certainty to real estate transactions in more than 21,000 communities nationwide where flood insurance is required for a mortgage.
The bill ensures the program will continue long-term for more than 5.6 million business- and homeowners who rely on it, achieves one of NAR's top priorities for the year, and means taxpayers will spend less on federal assistance for flood disasters over the long run. NAR will continue to monitor the legislation as it is implemented.
Note: President Obama signed the measure into law on July 6, 2012. Please see the updated legislative analysis of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 for more information.