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Murphy Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Habitat for Humanity

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18) joined Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) in introducing H.R. 3529, the Protect Habitat Homeownership Act of 2013 to allow Habitat for Humanity to continue to provide affordable housing for low-income families and help rebuild communities in the wake of natural disasters. Representatives Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) joined Murphy as original cosponsors of this bipartisan legislation, which is supported by Habitat for Humanity. (Please find attached a copy of the bill).

"Dodd-Frank was designed to do away with predatory subprime loans that fueled the financial crisis, but unfortunately, even the best-intentioned regulations can have unintended consequences. The American people would have trouble understanding why Habitat for Humanity got caught up in regulations designed for Wall Street and predatory lenders," said Rep. Murphy. "While there are valid differences of opinion on Dodd-Frank, both Republicans and Democrats can agree that charity no-interest, non-profit mortgages from Habitat for Humanity did not cause the crisis. Their mission of building our communities and giving our society's disadvantaged a chance at affordable homeownership should be encouraged. I am proud to join this bipartisan effort to fix an unintended consequence of new regulations by expanding existing exemptions to cover Habitat for Humanity and other non-profits providing responsible, affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income families."

"When the 111th Congress passed Dodd-Frank, the bill included dozens of new rules and requirements for mortgage providers nationwide. Unfortunately, this legislation makes Habitat for Humanity, which has a proven model of success in providing affordable mortgages to low-income families, subject to the same compliance regulations as big banks, credit unions and other traditional mortgage providers," Rep. Meadows said. "Most Habitat affiliates have very small mortgage portfolios and volunteer staff who just want to help their communities and ensure that their fellow citizens have homes of their own. These community-based organizations are forced to divert significant time and money toward complying with Dodd-Frank's requirements. The bipartisan Protecting Habitat Homeownership Act provides Habitat, and other nonprofits providing responsible low-income homeownership opportunities, with a targeted exemption from certain mortgage, servicing, and appraisal requirements so they can focus on doing what they do best: working with their communities to build houses for families."

"Habitat for Humanity greatly appreciates the commitment Congress has made to a stable and productive housing market as the nation continues to recover from the foreclosure crisis," said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity. "We share that commitment and are concerned that certain provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will significantly hinder the ability of Habitat to serve low-income families. Habitat strongly supports the efforts of Reps. Meadows, Capito, Murphy and Butterfield to address these threats by providing responsible nonprofit housing providers relief from these provisions."

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