Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced legislation to ensure that Habitat for Humanity affiliates can continue to receive donated appraisals on the homes they build. The bill makes a technical clarification to a Dodd-Frank regulation that impacts all Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

“This commonsense bill will ensure that all Habitat for Humanity affiliates can fulfill their mission to help qualified families in need without unnecessary government regulations,” Portman stated. “I’ve seen firsthand the good work being done by the organization, and my bill makes a small change that will have a large positive impact for those families relying on Habitat homes.”  

“Habitat for Humanity greatly appreciates Sen. Portman’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 5,000 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.”

 “We have long appreciated Sen. Portman's strong support of the work of our 55 Habitat affiliates to end poverty housing in Ohio, and thank the Senator for introducing this important legislation. Donated goods and services help Habitat keep home prices low, and more qualified Ohioans will become Habitat homeowners if this bill is enacted,” said Ryan Miller, executive director, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio.Dodd-Frank regulations require that fee appraisers receive “customary and reasonable” compensation for their services. This is an important issue for Habitat, as many affiliates accept donated appraisals of the homes they build. If affiliates must begin paying these appraisal fees, it will increase the cost for local Habitat groups of every home built.  Since local Habitat groups cannot recover the additional cost by raising the price of the home, the loss of donated appraisals means that affiliates will serve fewer American families each year. This bill will provide certainty to groups like Habitat for Humanity, for whom the lack of formal, federal guidance regarding donated appraisals represents an ongoing legal and liability risk to Habitat groups across the country.

 

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