Senate bill would allow Habitat for Humanity to serve more families
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 15, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Among the Dodd-Frank regulatory requirements that the U.S. Senate Banking Committee plans to address through legislation unveiled earlier this week is a small clarification that will provide significant savings for the more than 1,400 Habitat for Humanity affiliates operating locally across the United States.
Under the current language of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which says that fee appraisers be paid “customary and reasonable” fees, appraisal donations could be interpreted to violate the law. The proposed Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015 by committee chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, R- Ala., would allow appraisers to voluntarily donate their appraisals to nonprofits like Habitat in lieu of payment.
With appraisal costs reaching up to more than $1,000 each, the current price of the Dodd-Frank appraisal requirement unintentionally causes Habitat affiliates to reduce the number of families they serve.
“Habitat for Humanity greatly appreciates Sen. Shelby’s efforts to include protection for donated appraisals,” said Christopher Ptomey, Habitat for Humanity International’s director of government relations. “The Dodd-Frank reforms were passed with the good intentions of protecting consumers and taxpayers and of stopping predatory lending that targeted lower-income families and contributed to the foreclosure crisis. However, provisions in the law, including appraisal independence regulations, created unintended consequences for Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofit organizations providing responsible homeownership opportunities to families without access to bank mortgages. Habitat urges the Senate to bring this bill forward for consideration as soon as practicable, so Habitat can continue to serve as many qualified families around the country as possible.”
In its 2014 fiscal year, Habitat for Humanity served more than more than 3,000 families in communities across the U.S. to obtain affordable, no-profit mortgages. Habitat’s global mission is possible thanks to gifts of labor from more than 2 million volunteers and the financial support of its many generous donors.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit habitat.org.