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David Kim: Realtors Make Progress with Key Flood Insurance Legislation

The National Association of Realtors this week said significant improvements to the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, key legislation aimed at strengthening and reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program, have cleared the way for endorsement of the bill.

Among the changes, Realtors support the House Financial Services Committee’s commitment to retaining grandfathering a policy that protects homeowners from significant rate increases when a flood map changes.

The most recent draft also will limit proposed increases to fees and rate hikes that policyholders faced under previous iterations of the legislation.

Earlier versions of the legislation included more dramatic cost increases for homeowners and eliminated grandfathering protections beginning in 2021.

NAR President William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor from Alamo, and founder of Investment Properties, thanked the committee for working with Realtors to strengthen the bill and announced NAR’s support for it:

“House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), as well as Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance Chairman Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), deserve high praise for working with Realtors® to improve this legislation," Brown said.

"The changes to the 21st Century Flood Reform Act will help give certainty to homeowners who have brought their property to code and have done their part to protect it against flood risk.

"It’s a fair and reasonable approach that recognizes the need for accessible, affordable flood insurance, while taking us one step closer toward reauthorization," he said.

“This legislation protects taxpayers, as well as homeowners, which is no easy task," Brown said. "The Sept. 30 reauthorization deadline still looms in front of us, and Realtors are eager to see this legislation progress quickly.

"Leaders on both sides of the aisle are well aware that this issue touches 22,000 communities — in every state, both coastal and inland.

"We’re grateful for the committee’s support and look forward to their continued efforts on behalf of homeowners,” he said.

— David Kim is a licensed real estate broker with Village Properties and the 2017 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at [email protected] or 805-296-0662. The opinions expressed are his own.

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