The U.S Senate voted 72-22 to approve a bill that would continue government subsidies for flood insurance for people in flood zones, protecting them from often-significant rate hikes that were going into effect.

The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which had bipartisan support, was in response to the 2012 Biggert-Waters law. As REALTOR® magazine explained, Biggert-Waters

set out to gradually phase out flood insurance subsidies as a way to make up for the National Flood Insurance Program’s $24 billion debt. As a result, home owners who had received federal aid to pay for flood insurance were being faced with tens of thousands of dollars a year in flood insurance hikes.

“As the leading advocate for home and property owners, NAR applauds this bill for the relief and protection it will bring to businesses and families nationwide.  We believe this legislation will bring relief to property owners by ensuring a slow and steady phase in of risk-based increases,” said NAR President Steve Brown.

The House had previously passed its version of the bill, and President Obama is expected to sign it.