In an address last weekend, President Obama announced steps he will take to strengthen the nation’s housing market to create “a better bargain” for middle-class homeowners.
With the last four years marked by rising home prices and sales, improving construction starts and diminishing foreclosures, Obama urged that the time is now to build upon the recovery progress housing has shown.
“As home prices rise, we have to turn the page on the bubble-and-bust mentality that created this mess, and build a housing system that’s rock-solid and rewards responsibility for generations to come,” Obama said.
Part of these efforts, he added, involve winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to ensure that private capital plays a bigger role in the mortgage market.
“Now we have to build on this progress,” he said. “Congress should give every American the chance to refinance at today’s low rates.”
Additionally, President Obama also urged helping more qualified families obtain a mortgage to buy their first homes, as well as ensuring that those who don’t want to buy a home have “decent, affordable places to rent.”
In his address, Obama also called for preserving access to the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, as well as encouraging the confirmation of Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
“No program or policy will solve all the problems in a multi-trillion dollar housing market, and it will take time to fully recover. But if we work together, we can make a home a source of pride and middle-class security once again,” he said. “And if Washington is willing to set aside politics and focus on what really matters, we can rebuild an economy where if you work hard, you can get ahead.”
Written by Jason Oliva