Build Act 2018

ATLANTA (Oct. 3, 2018) —The U.S. Congress has given final approval to legislation that Habitat for Humanity International says will expand and improve opportunities for impact investing around the world. The Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development, or BUILD Act, will establish the International Development Finance Corporation, which will mobilize capital to support broad-based economic growth and poverty reduction around the world.

“Habitat for Humanity believes that everyone deserves a decent place to live,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Habitat has shown that impact investing is an incredibly powerful tool that helps people improve their living conditions and help grow stronger, more inclusive economies around the world. We worked with Congress on this bill to make sure its benefits include helping more families access innovative housing finance options. We look forward to working with the International Development Finance Corporation to unleash that potential.”

Habitat for Humanity established the $100 million MicroBuild Fund in 2012 as the first microfinance investment fund dedicated to helping low-income families secure and improve housing. The fund was established with backing from private investors and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, the federal agency that currently oversees development finance in the United States.

In May, Habitat for Humanity provided testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in support of the BUILD Act, arguing that “modern development finance can achieve a double bottom line—creating profit and ensuring positive social impact for individuals, families and communities globally.

The BUILD Act was included in legislation passed by the House of Representatives last week and approved by the Senate today. It is expected to be signed by the president. Habitat for Humanity thanks Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Chris Coons, D-Del., as well as Reps. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and Adam Smith, D-Wash., who championed the legislation in Congress.

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit

U.S. Senate Passes BUILD Act To Create New Development Finance Agency

Devex: A new U.S. development finance agency takes flight
“On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development, or BUILD Act, which will create a new U.S. government agency — the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. Development experts called it the biggest change in U.S. development policy in 15 years. The DFC will combine the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Development Credit Authority, add new development finance capabilities, including equity authority, and have a higher lending limit than its predecessor…” (Saldinger, 10/4).

Financial Times: U.S. Senate passes $60bn foreign development bill
“The Senate has passed a bill that will create a $60bn agency to invest in developing countries in what has been sold to Donald Trump, the U.S. president, as a way of countering China’s growing global influence. In a rare spirit of bipartisanship, on Wednesday the Senate passed the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act by 93 votes to 6…” (Pilling/Politi, 10/3).

The Hill: Senate sends FAA authorization to Trump’s desk
“…[A five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization bill] includes the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act, or BUILD Act, which would dramatically increase funding for global development and infrastructure projects. ‘I am thrilled this bill is headed to the president’s desk and I am grateful for the hard work and support of Senator Corker, the administration, and our partners on both sides of the aisle who worked tirelessly to get the BUILD Act across the finish line,’ Democratic Sen. Christopher Coons (Del.), who spearheaded the BUILD Act with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), said” (Carney, 10/3).

Reuters: Congress, eying China, votes to overhaul development finance
“…The measure creates a new agency, the U.S. International Development Finance Corp., that consolidates the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) and other government development organizations. Those institutions lend money for projects such as energy, ports, and water infrastructure in developing countries. The White House said in a statement that Congress had taken an important step toward fulfilling Trump’s commitment to reform development finance institutions ‘so that they better incentivize private-sector investment in emerging economies and provide strong alternatives to state-directed initiatives that come with hidden strings attached’…” (Zengerle, 10/3).

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