Habitat for Humanity hails passage of BUILD Act to reform international development finance

ATLANTA (Oct. 3, 2018) —The U.S. Congress has given final approval to legislation that Habitat for Humanity International says will expand and improve opportunities for impact investing around the world. The Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development, or BUILD Act, will establish the International Development Finance Corporation, which will mobilize capital to support broad-based economic growth and poverty reduction around the world.

“Habitat for Humanity believes that everyone deserves a decent place to live,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Habitat has shown that impact investing is an incredibly powerful tool that helps people improve their living conditions and help grow stronger, more inclusive economies around the world. We worked with Congress on this bill to make sure its benefits include helping more families access innovative housing finance options. We look forward to working with the International Development Finance Corporation to unleash that potential.”

Habitat for Humanity established the $100 million MicroBuild Fund in 2012 as the first microfinance investment fund dedicated to helping low-income families secure and improve housing. The fund was established with backing from private investors and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, the federal agency that currently oversees development finance in the United States.

In May, Habitat for Humanity provided testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in support of the BUILD Act, arguing that “modern development finance can achieve a double bottom line—creating profit and ensuring positive social impact for individuals, families and communities globally.

The BUILD Act was included in legislation passed by the House of Representatives last week and approved by the Senate today. It is expected to be signed by the president. Habitat for Humanity thanks Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Chris Coons, D-Del., as well as Reps. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and Adam Smith, D-Wash., who championed the legislation in Congress.

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 local communities across all 50 states in 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.