Credit is the lifeblood of housing. If builders can’t get credit, they can’t build homes, they can’t hire workers and they can’t stay in business.
This is why it is absolutely vital to get credit pumping back into the housing sector again. In the current regulatory climate, lenders have drastically cut back on acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans that are necessary to allow builders to construct new homes.
Since the earliest days of the housing downturn, NAHB has worked very closely with concerned lawmakers in creating legislation to open up the lines of credit for new housing production to help spur job growth, support a recovery in the housing market and keep the economy moving forward.
At NAHB’s urging, Reps. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) on March 19 introduced H.R. 1255, the Home Construction Lending Regulatory Improvement Act of 2013. The bipartisan legislation would address specific regulatory obstacles to the credit needs of the nation’s home builders and is identical to legislation championed by Miller in the previous Congress.
“We commend Reps. Miller and McCarthy for acting to remove a major impediment to the housing recovery by introducing legislation that will enable home builders to obtain AD&C loans in order to put construction crews back to work and to meet rising demand across much of the nation for new homes,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson.
The bill is a significant advancement in NAHB’s overall strategy to help members find the credit they need to move forward with new or existing projects.
Home builders cannot keep their doors open and create jobs in their communities if they cannot get credit to build even pre-sold homes. And when lenders call in performing loans, everyone suffers. Workers get laid off, sound projects go uncompleted and banks take possession of unfinished property.
“In many housing markets where demand is increasing and the supply of new homes remains near record-lows, builders still cannot get the proper financing to meet the needs of home buyers because credit remains very tight in the aftermath of the housing downturn,” said Judson.
This is hurting job creation and economic activity in countless communities across the land. Building 100 single-family homes creates more than 300 full-time jobs and generates $8.9 million in federal, state and local tax revenue. That doesn’t even count the increase in annual property taxes that cash-strapped state and local governments rely on to fund essential services, including jobs for local school teachers, police and fire departments, and road repairs.
In addressing regulatory areas that have unnecessarily hampered the flow of credit for new housing production, H.R. 1255 would remove barriers to lending while preserving the regulators’ ability to assure the safety and soundness of the financial institutions they oversee.