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The NAHB has submitted a letter to Congress, calling for House and Senate leaders to “act quickly” to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before it expires Sept. 30 to avoid “immediate and widespread impacts on property sales, home values, and consumer confidence.”

“Past disruptions have caused immediate and widespread impacts on property sales, home values, and consumer confidence. Home sales would cease in areas where flood insurance is mandatory in order to obtain a mortgage,” NAHB chairman Alicia Huey wrote in a letter to Congress. “Homeowners who have current NFIP policies would be unable to renew them during a lapse.”

Huey reiterated the NAHB’s belief that it is “critically important for the economy, and the housing industry specifically” to extend the program in order to provide “certainty, predictability, and peace of mind to policyholders.”

“What the housing market needs now is stability and certainty,” NAHB told lawmakers. “Uncertainty over whether the NFIP will lapse, coupled with the growing possibility of a government shutdown, may have a significant negative economic effect on home builders, home buyers and renters. To this end, we urge Congress to consider the effects of a government shutdown on federal programs that directly support the construction of new housing, help buyers or renters access housing, or provide federal permits that may be required for construction.”

The NAHB said builders need to be aware that even short-term disruption to the NFIP will force delays, or cancellations, to home sales that require homeowners to have federal flood insurance under the program.