Press

Bill Would Help Ensure Non-profits, Habitat for Humanity 
Can Build Homes for People in Need


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statements after the Building up Independent Lives and Dreams (BUILD) Act passed the U.S. Senate. 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 place to call home, and non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity provide a vital service helping to ensure that happens. Unfortunately, complicated mortgage loan forms have made doing so more difficult. The BUILD Act will enable groups like Habitat for Humanity to help even more Americans in need,” said Senator Fischer.   

“Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofit organizations offer help when the need is dire and families are struggling to put a roof over their heads – especially in tough times like these. The BUILD Act will ensure groups like Habitat for Humanity are not constricted by overly burdensome regulations, so they can get help where it’s needed, fast. I’m glad to see the Senate pass our bipartisan legislation, and I hope the House will take action at once so these nonprofits are able to continue providing a vital service to families across Maryland and our country,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“We are grateful for Senator Fischer for leading the way on the BUILD Act. She is a true partner to Habitat for Humanity.  Senator Fischer’s work has removed government barriers that aren’t applicable to non-profit organizations that provide loans to families who don’t fit into a traditional lending model,” said Amanda Brewer, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha CEO. 

More information on the BUILD Act:

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.

 

Click here to read bill text.