President Addresses State of Housing

January 25, 2012

President Barack Obama had a lot to talk about during his annual State of the Union Address presented on Tuesday, including our country’s desperate need for jobs, the big gap between the few that are rich and the many that are struggling, and the challenge of reviving the American Dream, which includes homeownership.

The President laid out plans to help the housing market recover, which includes spurring activity that has been otherwise thwarted by the government.

President Obama presents the State of the Union Address January 24.

“In the next few weeks, I will sign an Executive Order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects,” said Obama. “There’s never been a better time to build, especially since the construction industry was one of the hardest-hit when the housing bubble burst.

“Of course, construction workers weren’t the only ones hurt. So were millions of innocent Americans who’ve seen their home values decline. And while government can’t fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.

“That’s why I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low interest rates. No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks. A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it won’t add to the deficit, and will give banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.”

Almost one-fourth of all American households own mortgages that cost more than their homes are worth. As a result, many homeowners cannot refinance despite record-low mortgage rates because the value of their homes have fallen so drastically and lending standards have tightened so incredibly.

Obama’s plan would create a refinancing program that would make it easier for Americans who are current on their mortgages to lower their rates and payments regardless of how much equity they have in their homes. The banks, which helped create the housing market crash in the first place, would make up for it now by covering the cost of the plan.

Of course, the idea will get opposition from the Republicans, another theme heavily covered during the SOTU address, in which President Obama discussed the war, terrorism, clean energy, jobs, education, the lack of bipartisan support and a better government.

“We should all want a smarter, more effective government. And while we may not be able to bridge our biggest philosophical differences this year, we can make real progress. With or without this Congress, I will keep taking actions that help the economy grow. But I can do a whole lot more with your help. Because when we act together, there is nothing the United States of America can’t achieve.”

We’ll see the President’s housing plan over the next few weeks. Let’s hope Congress forgets political lines and considers what’s best for struggling American and Chicago real estate owners instead.

Categories: Economy, Featured

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