October 4, 2010
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

Politics and Government
Legislation to Address Home Builders’ Credit Needs Moves Forward

Before Congress adjourned last week so that lawmakers could return to their home districts and campaign for the November elections, NAHB made significant progress to advance legislation to help address the credit needs of the housing industry.

President Barak Obama on Sept. 27 signed legislation (H.R. 5297) into law that provides $30 billion in capital to community banks to expand small business lending. The fund established under the law does not allow for construction loans to be made to small builders.

Through intensive lobbying and grassroots efforts of the NAHB federation, the House moved rapidly to rectify this situation by approving a companion bill (H.R. 6191) the following day that allows small home building firms equal access to the new lending fund.

H.R. 6191 was also introduced in the Senate and with the chamber adjourning on Sept. 29, time ran out before the Senate could consider this measure and other important legislative items, including extension of Bush tax cuts due to expire at the end of this year.

Although Congress adjourned without finishing the job to allow the new small business lending fund to extend credit for housing production loans, it is an encouraging development that the House moved with such unusual speed to correct this omission and that the bill advanced rapidly in the Senate, which tends to move legislation at a much more deliberative pace.

To emphasize the severity of  NAHB members’ concerns over the critical lack of funding for acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans, the NAHB Board of Directors on Sept. 25 voted to approve a recommendation designating the AD&C credit crisis as NAHB’s top advocacy priority.

Builders from across the nation have mobilized and contacted their representatives and senators to move quickly to get credit flowing again to the residential sector.

In calling for Senate action on H.R. 6191, NAHB sent a letter last week to the Senate leadership designating a vote in favor of the bill as a “key vote” because of its importance to the housing industry.

“Lack of housing production credit is preventing builders from meeting the emerging demand for new homes and, for many, endangering their ability to survive the economic downturn,” the letter said. “Housing was the first sector hit by the current economic crisis, and no sustainable recovery can be achieved until the housing industry revives. The addition of language allowing the new Small Business Lending Fund to extend credit for housing production loans, as addressed by H.R. 6191, would expand the flow of credit to residential builders and help promote the sustained growth and vitality of the nation.”

In the weeks leading up to the Nov. 2 elections and when Congress returns in mid-November for a lame duck session, NAHB will continue to urge the Senate to approve H.R. 6191 to help the industry to rebound, create jobs and move the economy forward.

To read legislation, click here and enter the bill number in the box at the center of the page.

For more information, e-mail Scott Meyer at NAHB or call him at 800-368-5242 x8144.

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