WASHINGTON -- Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, MI, called on the Senate to move immediately to pass legislation approved by the House that would allow construction loans to be eligible for the new small business lending fund signed into law earlier this week.


"Congress last week approved a small business lending bill (H.R. 5297) that fails to allow tens of thousands of small home builders across the nation to obtain badly needed credit for viable home building projects. The $30 billion lending fund established under this new law to help small businesses does not allow for construction loans to be made to small builders.


"Fortunately, the House today moved to rectify this situation by approving a companion bill (H.R. 6191) that allows small home building firms equal access to the new lending fund. The Senate must follow suit and act now. The stakes could not be greater.


"Lack of housing production credit is preventing builders from meeting the emerging demand for new homes and, for many, endangering their ability to survive the economic downturn. Restoring the flow of credit to housing is critical for the industry to rebound, provide jobs and give a meaningful boost to the economy.


"There can be no sustainable economic recovery until the housing industry revives. The Senate must heed this sense of urgency, pass H.R. 6191 this week, and get the bill to President Obama's desk for his signature before adjourning ahead of the November elections."

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