NAHB Policy Brief: PPP Loan Forgiveness

A little-noticed court ruling in Michigan means all members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are eligible to have their loans forgiven, even if their loans were initially deemed ineligible under Small Business Administration (SBA) rules.

While Congress was clear in its intent to make PPP loans available to a broad range of enterprises, the U.S. Treasury Department and the SBA applied pre-existing regulations that disqualified much of the residential construction industry from loan forgiveness under the pandemic-driven program.

NAHB, the Home Builders Association of Michigan, and the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on June 30, 2020, during the height of the pandemic-induced economic downturn. The suit challenged the federal agencies’ decision to apply stringent criteria that prevented certain builders, developers, and multifamily property owners from accessing this much-needed source of funding and having those loans forgiven.


The court ruled on Sept. 28 that the SBA wrongly applied eligibility criteria to the PPP. As a result of the ruling, the PPP loans of NAHB members can be forgiven in full if the funds were spent on qualifying expenses such as payroll, rent/mortgage, and utilities.

So, while it is too late to take out a PPP loan, it’s not too late for companies that previously received a PPP loan to apply for loan forgiveness.

SBA has launched a streamlined application portal for borrowers with loans of $150,000 or less. The process to receive a refund on a PPP loan is outlined on the SBA website. Borrowers who need assistance or have questions should call 877.552.2692, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

For Residential Construction, Texas Has It Goin’ On …

… when it comes to residential construction. Three of the five top markets for new single-family permits issued in the 10 years from 2011 to 2020 are in Texas, with Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land at No. 1 (363,067 permits), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington at No. 2 (292,219), and Austin-Round Rock at No. 5 (135,181). Crashing the Texas party are No. 3 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell (196,745) and No. 4 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (179,479).

The map below shows total single-family permits issued for all 384 metropolitan statistical areas between 2011–2020. The dark colors denote the highest number of permits issued, while the lightest colors show the lowest number of total permits issued.

NAHB analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data

For multifamily permits, the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area topped the list with 377,761 permits from 2011 through 2020, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (217,621), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (185,732), Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land (162,545), and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue (139,659).

The blue map below shows the total number of multifamily permits issued for the same 384 metro areas over the same time. Again, the dark colors indicate the highest number of permits issued.

U.S. map showing growth for multifamily construction permits
NAHB analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data

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