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NAR calls on Congress to reauthorize flood insurance program

Flooding can cause havoc for homeowners.

Flooding can cause havoc for homeowners.

As winter winds down and the spring season approaches, people planning on moving may worry about the cost of floods that could affect their new home. But that won't be a problem if the National Association of Realtors has its way and Congress reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program.

Last Friday, Terry Sullivan of the NAR testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, imploring its members to reauthorize the act so as not to adversely affect the fragile housing market.

"As the leading advocate for housing issues, NAR strongly supports reauthorizing the NFIP for a minimum of five years, and before the program is set to expire later this year, ending the current stopgap approach that has already led to nine extensions and five lapses of program authority since 2008," Sullivan said.

The NAR says Congress has reauthorized the act on a month-to-month basis and this uncertainty has led to several thousands of home sales being cancelled or delayed.

Thousands of communities participate in the NFIP, which has been in place since 1968 when it was created by Congress to help property owners financially protect themselves. Standard homeowners insurance normally doesn't cover flood damage, and the national program can be a lifeline for many homebuyers.