President Obama announced a new initiative this afternoon to provide mortgage relief for struggling homeowners. Speaking in Nevada, a state with one of the highest foreclosure rates, the President outlined why we need to take steps now to stabilize the housing market:
“There are still millions of Americans who have worked hard and acted responsibly, paying their mortgage payments on time. But now that their homes are worth less than they owe on their mortgage, they're having trouble getting refinancing even though mortgage rates are at record lows.
“So I’m here to say to all of you—and to say to the people of Nevada and the people of Las Vegas—we can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.
“So that's going to soon change. Last month, I directed my economic team to work with the Federal Housing Finance Agency and their partners in the housing industry to identify barriers to refinancing, knock those barriers down, and explore every option available to help many American homeowners to refinance. And today, I am pleased to announce that the agency that is in charge is going to be taking a series of steps to help responsible homeowners refinance and take advantage of low mortgage rates.
“[This] is going to help a lot more homeowners refinance at lower rates, which means consumers save money, those families save money, and it gets those families spending again. And it also makes it easier for them to make their mortgage payments, so that they don't lose their home and bring down home values in the neighborhood.”
In addition to the Federal Housing Finance Agency initiative, the President will work towards strengthening the housing market through Project Rebuild, a program within the American Jobs Act that puts construction back on the job rehabilitating abandoned homes. Learn more about the President’s jobs plan here.