NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke and CEO Jerry Howard held a virtual discussion with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin today and urged the secretary to expand eligibility under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to allow more workers in the residential construction sector to access the loan program.
Specifically, NAHB called on Secretary Mnuchin to provide a waiver from eligibility restrictions in the existing Small Business Administration 7(a) loan program to allow single-family and multifamily home builders, land developers, multifamily property owners and 501(c)(6) organizations access to the PPP.
Those 7(a) guidelines contain a list of ineligible businesses for 7(a) loans including, among others, businesses engaged in building “homes for future sale,” land developers and multifamily property owners.
The NAHB leaders said that the guidance should reflect congressional intent that all small businesses in the residential home construction and remodeling industry should have access to these critically important PPP funds during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Builders have been denied loans because of the guidance and many more have not bothered to apply for fear of wasting their time,” said Fowke. “And some who build spec and contract homes have received money but fear their loans will not be forgiven. Again, we believe this runs counter to the congressional intent of the CARES Act to help the broadest universe of small businesses through the COVID-19 disaster.
“We need your help to ensure all small businesses in the residential construction and remodeling sector have access to these funds and we need your help providing certainty to the small businesses in our sector that were lucky enough to receive funds.”
NAHB is also working with Congress to achieve a legislative solution.