June 5, 2013

Rebuilding the Middle Class and the American Dream

June is Homeownership Month, a time to celebrate something that’s central to this thing we call ‘the American Dream.’  As our nation continues to recover from the housing crisis, we also must reflect on ways to promote responsible and sustainable homeownership.

Perhaps then it’s only right that the theme of this Homeownership Month is Rebuilding the Middle-Class.  Today, the housing market is on the rebound with home sales on the increase and foreclosures on the decline.  Homebuilders are back to building homes and creating jobs for working Americans and thanks to rising home prices this year, nearly 2 million more families are no longer under water.  The market’s recovery is in large part, due to the swift and bold action taken by the Obama administration.  In the past four years, millions of people facing foreclosure are still their homes.

Despite all this progress, our work is not finished.  We still have a long way to go to ensure that every distressed homeowner gets help and every qualified buyer is treated fairly.  Too many responsible families who want to buy are still being locked out of market and the middle class.  While many homeowners can now take advantage of today’s low interest rates and refinance their mortgages (even if they’re under water), many others can’t!  Homeowners with a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or an FHA-insured mortgage have that option to lower their monthly mortgage costs but there are homeowners with private mortgages that don’t have that opportunity and continue to be locked out.  That’s why the President is urging the Congress to act on a plan to extend this opportunity to ALL responsible homeowners, allowing them a chance to save approximately $3000 a year!

HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling supports hundreds of certified housing counseling agencies across the country that can help struggling homeowners to keep their homes.  These counselors also assist first-time homebuyers and even those desperate for affordable rental housing.

Working with these and other partners on the ground, we can shape a housing market that is stronger and safer housing market than before.  In doing so, we’ll continue to restore the dream of homeownership, creating a stronger middle-class and a stronger America.

Happy Homeownership Month!

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