Help Extend the National Flood Insurance Program


I hope that you’ve all taken a minute to respond to the latest call-for-action from NAR. (That goes double for those who are always complaining that NAR doesn’t do anything for you.)

A bill, H.R. 1309, is being debated in Congress right now that would re-authorize, reform, and extend the National Flood Insurance Program for 5 years.

The NAR Land Use Committee, has been working on getting this bill in place for years – it’s been a top priority. Finally we have a bill that will truly make a difference if passed, or the NFIP program will sunset on September 30 of this year.

If that happens, it would be catastrophic for many areas, coastal regions, mid-west areas prone to flooding, etc. This program is the ONLY SOURCE of flood damage protection for 5.6 million home and business owners today, not to mention the millions of affiliated jobs like builders, remodelers, movers, mortgage lenders, insurance agents, real estate professionals and more. In the last 3 years alone there have been 9 stopgap extensions and 5 shutdowns. Just last year a shutdown of just a few weeks resulted in more than 47,000 home sales delayed or canceled – in a market that is way down to begin with.

Do we need MORE uncertainty from our leaders on this issue? We actually have a chance to provide some long term stability to at least one segment of our market, let’s not blow it. Take a minute – click on the page below and lend your voice to the chorus.

1.1 million strong. Very little we can’t do if we put our minds and hearts to it.

Thank you.

National Flood Insurance Program Expires – WTH?


Posted: 02 Jun 2010 01:02 PM PDT

Ever have a bad dream that just doesn’t stop? It just keeps repeating itself. You don’t want to close your eyes cuz you know what’s coming!!!  For REALTORS®, that recurring bad dream is Congress letting the National Flood Insurance Program expire. What the heck were they thinking?

REALTORS® have been urging Congress to pass a comprehensive National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reform bill all year long. We conducted a Call for Action in April. I had the privilege to testify at Congressional hearings about the importance of the program to the real estate market and the general economy. Recently, we urged action during our midyear hill visits with this issue being one of our top talking points. Yet once again, Congress left town on the holiday weekend without reauthorizing the NFIP and the Section 502 Rural Housing Program. As a result, thousands of transactions have come to a stop, again. What the heck were they thinking?

How do we rid ourselves of this bad dream?

Let me give it a shot – we let Congress know, again, and again, and again if necessary….. Anything that holds up the sale of a home, for whatever the reason, hurts our communities, stifles our economic healing, and halts real estate’s fragile recovery. Regardless of your location, rebuilding our markets in every corner of America is in every REALTORS®’ interest, but more importantly every taxpayers’ interest, every homeowners’ interest, every renters’ interest, every property investors’ interest, everyones’ interest. What the heck were they thinking?

You may ask yourself – there are no floodplains in my market, so why should I care? That’s a fair question. Let me give that a shot too – Lenders from every corner of our nation hold up capital when the market is uncertain. When the NFIP isn’t in place it gives lenders a reason to pause.  It makes them more concerned about this short term band aid approach that it destabilizes the financial mortgage markets even more. See, every mortgage has some phrase or clause that requires the borrower to keep the asset (home) insured. If there is no insurance, the lender has the right to foreclose on existing loans, or not make the loan at all, for new ones. Now, you and I know today, or anytime for that matter, the lender doesn’t want your property back. With this uncertainty that you will be unable to insure your home, the lenders are even more reluctant to lend. This hurts home sales everywhere. It hurts all of us! What the heck were they thinking?

To make matters worse, Congress has also abandoned the Section 502 Rural Housing Program.  The housing program provides zero-down payment mortgages to eligible families in rural area of every state. Many of these families signed contracts before April 30 and plan to utilize the homebuyer tax credit. If this program is not restored soon, they will lose their opportunity for home ownership. What the heck were they thinking!

I’m a lot ticked, can you tell? Yesterday, NAR sent you a Call for Action urging Congress to extend the NFIP and Rural Housing Program immediately. Please, now is the time for the REALTOR® Party to speak with one voice, to urge Congress to renew both NFIP and the Rural Housing 502 program and do it now!.Give our lobby in DC the strength of numbers they need. What the heck were they thinking?

Tell everyone you know, post this, tweet it, Facebook it, or write your own version! Get folks mobilized, you can do it! Go to “Call for Action: Congress Abandons Critical Housing Programs – Again” spend a few seconds and do a couple clicks and let Congress know how important this is for our citizens!

Direct your clients to these sources for more information: FEMA, FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the VA. Remember REALTORS® are the Heart of the Market! — Moe Veissi, 2010 NAR First Vice President.