WASHINGTON (May 31, 2013) — Habitat for Humanity expressed its appreciation today to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for its work to amend the CFPB’s Ability-to-Repay rule. As originally written, the rule could have inadvertently threatened Habitat’s ability to meet the needs of underserved segments of the housing market.
Habitat partner families, by design, do not qualify under standard underwriting guidelines used by banks and other private lenders, and there was significant risk that Habitat’s successful mortgage model would be negatively affected under the rule’s ability to repay and qualified mortgage definitions.
The CFPB finalized rules this week to facilitate access to credit by creating specific exemptions and modifications to the CFPB’s Ability-to-Repay rule for small creditors, community development lenders and housing stabilization programs.
“Habitat is pleased that the CFPB recognized the importance of Habitat’s model and our ability to partner with families in need to provide affordable homeownership opportunities,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “The ‘Ability-to-Repay’ exemption ensures that Habitat will continue to serve families while meeting all necessary federal requirements. We thank CFPB Director Richard Cordray and his staff for their continued engagement and attention to the needs of low-income families throughout the United States.”
Habitat’s 1,500 U.S. affiliates serve as builders, mortgage lenders and servicers for its low-income partner families. These families purchase their homes with no-profit loans which are made affordable through mandatory sweat equity, volunteer labor and cash and in-kind donations.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 600,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org , or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat  or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org  or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog .