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Previous attempts to address the program's persistent, lingering debt by moving toward risk-based rates have met with considerable opposition. (Victor Moussa/Adobe Stock) Previous attempts to address the program’s persistent, lingering debt by moving toward risk-based rates have met with considerable opposition. (Victor Moussa/Adobe Stock)

The May 18 hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs signaled the beginning of a period of Congressional activity in anticipation of the fast-approaching expiration date of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Its current authority will end on Sept. 30, 2021.

Since 2012, the program has only once been reauthorized for five years. The last long-term reauthorization ended in 2017, ushering in a period of ongoing uncertainty for real estate markets and other economic sectors. Numerous short-term extensions have been used as stopgaps, each lasting months, weeks or days. Three brief lapses in the NFIP’s authorization exacerbated the economic uncertainty facing policyholders, lenders and agents alike.

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