Senate Republicans and the White House released a new $1 trillion coronavirus relief package Monday that includes key provisions for which NAHB has advocated. Of interest to the housing community, the Senate bill would:
- Allow 501(c)(6) organizations — including many home builder associations throughout the nation — to access small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) subject to certain size and lobbying restrictions. The organization must have 300 or fewer employees and the lobbying activities of the organization do not comprise more than 10% of the total activities of the organization;
- Provide a simplified forgiveness process, particularly for small business PPP loans under $150,000 (Borrowers with loans under $150,000 would not have to submit to the lender documentation required under the CARES Act but would need to retain relevant loan records for three years.);
- Allow the borrower to select a covered period for a forgivable PPP loan that ends either eight weeks after origination of the loan or Dec. 31, 2020.
- Permit businesses to apply for a second PPP loan if they have fewer than 300 employees and experienced a 50% reduction in gross receipts in the first or second quarter of 2020 relative to the same period last year
- Include business liability protections;
- Provide a one-time payment of $1,200 per taxpayer ($2,400 for married couples) plus $500 per each dependent; and
- Include funding for reopening schools and coronavirus testing.
House Democrats in mid-May passed a $3 trillion rescue bill called the Heroes Act that would also allow 501(c)(6) nonprofits (including many home builder associations) now experiencing their own financial challenges brought on by COVID-19 to be eligible for PPP small business loans. It was a victory for NAHB to get 501(c)(6) provisions in both the House and Senate bills. The House bill was not nearly as restrictive as the Senate draft and NAHB will be working now to move the Senate 501(c)(6) language closer to the House provision.
NAHB has been working diligently to ensure that as Congress develops the next economic relief package, it takes additional steps to ensure broader builder eligibility under the PPP so that land developers, multifamily property owners and state and local HBAs have access to this loan program.
Of note, the Senate bill would cut weekly emergency unemployment benefits from $600 to $200 until states can implement a formula that would pay workers 70% of what they earned before they lost their jobs. The House bill would continue the $600 jobless benefit, which expires at the end of the month, until January.
The Senate measure does not include rental assistance while the House bill does.
House and Senate leaders are working to negotiate a compromise between the two bills and NAHB continues to urge lawmakers to include its housing priorities in the final package.
For more information, email Alex Strong.