On March 13, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee held a hearing to discuss draft legislation that would reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The program, which expires May 31, 2019, has received many short-term extensions since its last long-term reauthorization ended in 2017.
Four pieces of draft legislation were discussed at the hearing to provide a long-term reauthorization of the program. These draft bills included numerous proposed reforms to the program, such as:
- Addressing unaffordable premium costs for low-income households
- Lowering costs and fees for policyholders
- Addressing debt accrued by NFIP
- Modernizing and expanding flood risk mapping
- Establishing state revolving loan funds for flood mitigation
- Enhancing mitigation incentives including premium rate reductions and increased cost compliance coverage
- Establishing a community assistance program to strengthen state and local floodplain management
- Making flood map and risk information digitally accessible
- Removing multiple low-risk structures from flood hazard areas at once
- Establishing a new flood zone for levee-impacted areas
- Establishing a voluntary community-wide flood insurance policy pilot program
- Strengthening fraud and Write Your Own Program oversight
Congress is working to reauthorize the program ahead of the May 31 expiration deadline. If they are unable to meet that timeline, another short-term extension is likely to extend the program into the summer as legislators continue their work.
Counties have continually urged Congress to enact a long-term reauthorization of NFIP and NACo will continue actively engaging with members of Congress and committee staff to provide input throughout the drafting process to ensure final legislation aligns with county flood insurance priorities.
If you or your county have concerns or policy recommendations, please contact Lindsey Holman at firstname.lastname@example.org.