Friday Five: Another NFIP Delay? Survey: Housing Matters to Voters

In this week’s top headlines, Washington considers another Band-aid extension of the National Flood Insurance Program; a new survey underscores the importance of home ownership to Americans; and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® bus wraps up its cross-country tour.

Brace yourself for another short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program: Just like the deficit reduction talks, it looks like the NFIP extension will come down to the wire. Pols take note: 4 out of 5 Americans say housing is critical to the economic recovery, according to a new poll. All that and more in this week’s Friday Five.

Property Casualty 360:Washington Roundup: Another Short-Term NFIP Extension?

Industry officials are preparing for the prospect of another short-term extension to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as the deadline from the last extension is fast approaching. Delays on a long-term extension hinge on senators from both sides attempting to attach unrelated legislation to a long-term bill.

Wall Street Journal:Candidates, Take Heed: Housing Matters, Survey Finds

A new survey says it would be a mistake for presidential hopefuls to avoid the question of what to do about issues like falling home prices, rising foreclosures, and stalled home construction — particularly since states key to the presidential race, such as Florida and Nevada, are still reeling from the collapse of the housing market.

Ventura Star:Home Ownership is Still Valued, County Leaders Say

“Promoting home ownership is important because it profoundly affects communities’ quality of life. People who have the security of a roof over their head, but also the investment in that roof, are engaged in the community.”

Las Vegas Sun:Steps to Fixing the Economy

Economic recovery won’t occur until our housing and construction markets begin to recover. Congress has an opportunity to help stabilize and strengthen the economy with policies that preserve and promote home ownership, such as taking action to preserve the mortgage interest deduction, stabilizing interest rates and mortgage-qualifying criteria for home buyers, and improving access to credit for home builders.

Marketwatch:Why Housing Deserves a Home in Your Portfolio

Now may be a great time to buy a house, given that years of falling home prices and low mortgage rates have made buying a place to live more affordable than it has been in decades.