Legislation Aiding Michigan Habitat for Humanity Passes U.S. House of Representatives
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Dave Trott (MI-11) issued the following statement after the Housing Opportunities Made Easier (HOME) Act, legislation he introduced to ensure Habitat for Humanity affiliates and other similar organizations can continue to receive donated appraisals on the homes they build, passed the U.S. House of Representatives as a part of the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10):
“Habitat for Humanity of Michigan supports over 80 affiliates statewide whose over 200,000 dedicated volunteers come together to help Michigan families in need,” said Trott. “The HOME Act is vital to ensuring that Habitat can receive the donated resources it needs to continue helping families in Michigan and nationwide. I applaud my colleagues for working together to move this important legislation through the House and urge my colleagues in the Senate to swiftly do the same.”
“Since 1995, Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County has served over 300 families across Oakland County to help them build strength, stability, and self-reliance through housing,” said Tim Ruggles, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County. “This legislation is a vital part of ensuring we can continue to build homes, communities, and hope. We applaud Rep. Trott for his continued support of our important mission.”
“We greatly appreciate Rep. Trott’s leadership on this issue and his support of Habitat for Humanity’s critical mission. The ability to accept donated goods and services is so important to keeping home prices low so more Michiganders can achieve the dream of homeownership,” said Sandra Pearson, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Michigan.
“Habitat for Humanity greatly appreciates Rep. Trott’s sponsoring legislation to ensure appraisers can continue to voluntarily donate their services to Habitat affiliates,” said Christopher Ptomey, Habitat for Humanity International’s Director of Government Relations. “With Habitat affiliates annually providing approximately 4,000 homeownership opportunities to lower-income families in the United States, each of which will require an appraisal, this legislation will save Habitat affiliates millions of dollars annually and maximize the impact of limited donor and government funding for qualified families in need of decent housing.”
Senator Portman of Ohio introduced the HOME Act as a companion bill in the Senate: “By providing safe and affordable homes for families in need, Habitat for Humanity makes a vital contribution to Ohio,” said Portman. “This common-sense bill will make it easier for Habitat to carry out its mission by eliminating an unnecessary regulation and freeing up more resources that Habitat can use to help more people in Ohio and across our great country.”
In fulfilling its mission to provide affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity typically provides no or low-interest loans to families, allowing them to keep homeownership affordable. As is the case with any mortgage loan, the home must be appraised before being sold. Many times, these appraisals were services donated by professional appraisers in the community. However, Dodd-Frank regulations, in requiring that fee appraisers receive “customary and reasonable” compensation for their services, has undermined Habitat’s ability to receive these service donations. The HOME Act exempts Habitat for Humanity and similar organizations from this requirement, allowing them to continue to accept donated appraisals and keep their home prices affordable for Michigan families.
This issue was brought to Rep. Trott’s attention during a meeting with Habitat for Humanity earlier this year. Following the meeting, he took swift action to put forward this common-sense reform.
Habitat for Humanity is a 501(c)(3) organization which helps provide affordable housing to low-income families. Rep. Trott had the honor of joining Habitat for Humanity on one of their builds in Oakland County, Michigan.