WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Representatives Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) and Brad Sherman (D-Cali.) reintroduced the Building up Independent Lives and Dreams (BUILD) Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would allow nonprofits to once again use forms that are less complex when they are issuing 0% interest loans. This will help ensure the organizations can continue to make these loans to borrowers.
“Every family deserves a roof over their heads. Because of misguided policies in the past, non-profits like Habitat for Humanity have been forced to use complicated mortgage loan forms that make it difficult to build homes for people who need them. Our bipartisan solution would allow for less complex forms, ensuring these organizations can continue to lend a hand to the less fortunate,” said Senator Fischer.
“Habitat for Humanity and others groups provide a vital service to families who would otherwise be unable to purchase a home,” said Senator Van Hollen. “The BUILD Act will streamline the process so that Habitat for Humanity can achieve their important mission and will allow them to help even more people in Maryland and across the country reach the dream of home ownership.”
“The BUILD Act will allow nonprofits, like Habitat for Humanity, an exemption from complex regulations that are difficult to comply with. The cost of compliance has been significant for some nonprofits, causing them to spend less time fulfilling their mission and more time sitting in an office,” said Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA). “Last Congress, the BUILD Act passed out of the House Financial Services Committee and the full House unanimously, and I would hope for a similar outcome in the House and Senate this Congress.”
“The BUILD Act gives bona fide non-profits who make zero interest loans, like Habitat for Humanity, additional flexibility in deciding which disclosure forms they use. This common-sense piece of legislation will ensure non-profits can focus on working in their communities to build homes, rather than sitting in an office,” said Representative Sherman.
“Driven by a vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity works alongside families and individuals across all 50 states to build affordable homes. We do this work by offering a hand up, not a hand out. Sen. Fischer’s legislation offers a much needed and much appreciated hand-up to Habitat. By reducing paperwork and regulatory burdens, our local Habitat organizations can build more houses and help more people build strength, stability and self-reliance through homeownership,” said Chris Vincent, vice president of government relations for Habitat for Humanity International.
Background on the BUILD Act
New rules require all mortgage lenders who make five or more loans per year to fill out complex and expensive disclosure forms designed to protect consumers. These forms replaced simpler ones that had existed for years.
Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) issues 0% interest mortgages to its clients, who are often the families receiving Habitat homes. The goal of these loans is not just cost savings, it is to help families build credit and learn financial responsibility. Because the new forms are longer, more complicated, and expensive to complete, most volunteers are not able complete them.
The BUILD Act would allow nonprofits to use the old forms when issuing 0% interest loans, even if they make more than 5 mortgages. Staff and volunteers are familiar with these forms and they still have the adequate consumer protections needed for non-interest-bearing loans.
All four members were lead sponsors of the BUILD Act in the 115th Congress.
Click here to read bill text.