FEMA Ruling Reversal: A win for NAR and for Home Sales

An exciting win for home sales as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had reversed their original ruling a few days later to discontinue the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as the government continued to be shut down. Last month FEMA made a surprise ruling which disallowed new and renewal flood insurance policies during the government shutdown, despite Congress having already voted to renew the flood insurance policies as they have done during past shutdowns. This had potential to be detrimental across the nation, and specifically in the Sacramento area, where approximately 121,000 homeowners are encouraged or required to have flood insurance for their homes. When selling and buying homes, any home in a flood zone is required to have flood insurance in order to get a mortgage or to close on said home, and without policies available by the NFIP, no buying or selling in flood zones could have been possible during this shutdown.

The National Association of REALTORS® played in a key role in a quick reversal of this ruling by FEMA after expressing the concerns of their 1.3 million members and the negative impact that the lack of flood insurance availability would have on home sales during the shutdown. NAR® had estimated that around 40,000 home sales would be disrupted each month that the NFIP could not issue flood insurance. NAR® teamed up with District 6 Congresswoman Doris Matsui, as many areas in and around Sacramento are in flood zones and flood insurance is vital to feel safe here. Congresswoman Matsui played an important role in reversing this ruling alongside NAR®, voicing the dangers this ruling could bring to Sacramento, "Congress allocated these taxpayer dollars for vital flood protection projects all over the country, including projects that safeguard Sacramento and over half a million of my constituents.” We hope this sets a precedent for any future shutdowns or rulings by FEMA and NFIP, as flood insurance will always be vital for residents.

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