Habitat for Humanity hails House of Representatives’ bipartisan passage of legislation that will lower cost of affordable housing development
Senate urged to pass HOME Act which would allow donated home appraisals to keep costs of Habitat homes low
ATLANTA (Jan. 30, 2018) – In a strong and bipartisan show of support, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Housing Opportunities Made Easier, or HOME, Act, a bill that would clarify law allowing home appraisers to donate their services to organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
The legislation, introduced by Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., in the House and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, in the Senate, has been a top priority of Habitat for Humanity so that the homes it builds across the United States remain affordable to homebuyers.
“This bill will help us keep affordable housing affordable,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Across the United States, Habitat volunteers build thousands of new homes alongside homebuyers. By ensuring that professional appraisers are also able to volunteer their services, this legislation will help keep loan origination fees low for new homebuyers. That’s good news for people buying Habitat homes, and it’s good news for the more than 1,300 local Habitat organizations across the nation that will be able to use the savings to build, rehabilitate and repair more homes.”
The HOME Act was approved by the House on a voice vote last night, and moves to the Senate for consideration. Sen. Portman’s companion legislation is currently under consideration by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
“We applaud the House’s action and urge the Senate to quickly take up and pass this sensible and strongly bipartisan piece of legislation,” Reckford added. “Habitat salutes the leadership of Congressman Dave Trott and Senator Rob Portman, who in addition to being strong advocates for affordable housing are also both dedicated Habitat volunteers.”
In a speech on the House floor urging his colleagues to pass the bill, Rep. Trott recounted his experience volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.
“During my first term in Congress, I, along with my entire district office, had the opportunity to join Habitat for Humanity on one of their builds in Oakland County, Michigan,” Trott said in his floor speech. “It was great fun helping them build a Michigan family’s home, but I think we often forget that Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofit housing organizations do so much more than just build a home. These nonprofits actually offer families who live in their homes no- or low-interest loans, making the dream of homeownership affordable for so many. The home of course needs to be appraised before a loan may be approved and many times professional appraisers volunteer their services so that the nonprofit does not have to incur additional expense.”
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 1,300 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.