July 3, 2012

Putting the Fire Out

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If a fire started in your home, wouldn’t you hope your local fire department would do everything it could to put those flames out?  Imagine suggesting that that better approach might be to allow the fire to burn itself out.  Now imagine if that same do-nothing approach were to be applied to our nation’s housing crisis – where a foreclosure on the house next door can reduce your own home value by as much as $10,000, dragging down families and neighborhoods alike.

On Monday, July 2nd, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan appeared on the national Jim Bohannon Show to lay out the Obama Administration’s approach to turning the housing market around – including a plan to expand the opportunity for underwater homeowners to refinance into a lower cost mortgage and start to rebuild the equity they lost during the foreclosure crisis.

Secretary Donovan makes a compelling argument for taking aggressive steps to restore the housing market.   Responsible homeowners should not have to sit and wait for the market to hit bottom to get relief when there are measures at hand that Congress can take that can make a meaningful difference, including allowing these homeowners to save thousands of dollars by refinancing at today’s historically low interest rates.

And what about what some critics believe is America’s fixation on homeownership and the idea that the American Dream is a thing of the past?  Not so, said Donovan – homeownership is still a part of our shared dream though, as a nation, we need to re-balance our housing policy where renting shouldn’t be stigmatized.    Listen to Jim’s July 2nd discussion with Secretary Donovan.

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