Review of President Obama’s Housing Address: NCRC calls for more!


Last week Monday, President Obama made vision public for the nation’s housing market. In his speech, President Obama highlighted five different steps he finds essential to moving forward.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 13, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Number one:  Congress should pass a good, bipartisan idea to allow every homeowner the chance to save thousands of dollars a year by refinancing their mortgage at today’s rates…We’ve been talking about it for a year and a half, two years, three years.  There’s no reason not to do it.

Step number two:  Now that we’ve made it harder for reckless buyers to buy homes that they can’t afford, let’s make it a little bit easier for qualified buyers to buy the homes that they can afford…we’re cutting red tape for responsible families who want to get a mortgage but keep getting rejected by the banks.  We need to give well-qualified Americans who lost their jobs during the crisis a fair chance to get a loan if they’ve worked hard to repair their credit.

And step three is something that you don’t always hear about when it comes to the housing market, and that is fixing our broken immigration system.  It would actually help our housing market. 

Step number four:  We should address the uneven recovery by rebuilding the communities hit the hardest by the housing crisis, …Let’s put construction workers back to work repairing rundown homes, tearing down vacant properties so that the value of homes in those surrounding areas start picking up.  We can put people to work right now and improve the remaining housing stock that’s out there…

Step five:  We should make sure families that don’t want to buy a home or can’t yet afford to buy one still have a decent place to rent…And we got to make sure that we are creating affordable opportunities when it comes to rental properties.

In addition, the President went on to further expand his thoughts on private capital, the role of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, offering 30-year mortgages and keeping housing affordable for first time homebuyers.

First, private capital should take a bigger role in the mortgage market…

A second principle is we can’t leave taxpayers on the hook for irresponsibility or bad decisions by some of these lenders or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. We’ve got to encourage the pursuit of profit, but the era of expecting a bailout after you pursue your profit and you don’t manage your risk well — well, that puts the whole country at risk…

The third principle is we should preserve access to safe and simple mortgage products like the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage.  That’s something families should be able to rely on when they’re making the most important purchase of their lives. 

Number four, we’ve got to keep housing affordable for first-time homebuyers…And that means we’ve got to strengthen the FHA so it gives today’s families the same kind of chance it gave my grandparents to buy a home, and it preserves those rungs on the ladder of opportunity. 

However, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition wished the President would have said more. They released the following statement last Tuesday in response to the housing speech.

“We applaud the President for stressing the importance of access to homeownership, affordable rental housing, and responsible lending. But we are very concerned that the President didn’t address what is missing from the current legislative proposals on GSE reform. The missing critical ingredient in current proposals before Congress is an affirmative obligation for the market to serve creditworthy low- and moderate-income borrowers with conventional mortgage products. Without that, we will have a bifurcated mortgage system – one that does not treat creditworthy borrowers equally. That is unacceptable and will ultimately undermine the entire mortgage market. We call on the President to make a clear stand that an obligation to provide access to conventional loans for the full spectrum of creditworthy borrowers of all incomes must be a part of GSE reform. We need the President to say more here.

For more information on the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and their work nationally…to increase fair & equal access to credit, capital, and banking services/products for low- and moderate-income communities, because discrimination is illegal, unjust and detrimental to the economic growth of undeserved communities in the United States and around the world…please click here.

If you’d like more information or access to several different news sources which covered the President’s housing speech, see below:

1.) DC Urban Turf: Obama Proposes Fixes for the Housing Market

2.) The Examiner: Obama Unveils Mortgage Plan to Restore Housing Market

3.) The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: Update on President’s Housing Reform (*Graphs & Charts are include here!)

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