Currently Reading

Obama jobs program to include 'mortgage relief' ... and why it won't matter

Advertisement

Obama jobs program to include 'mortgage relief' ... and why it won't matter


August 18, 2011

The Washington Post is reporting this morning that President Obama's jobs program will include amongst its many proposals more relief for struggling homeowners.

The president will lay out the particulars of the proposals after Labor Day. Details are lacking at this point on housing, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

After all, everything the Obama administration and the Bush administration before it has done in their attempts to boost housing has failed. The only so-called success, the new homebuyer tax credit, merely created a false bottom and screwed things up even more.

Any proposal for mortgage relief will probably rely on the banks just as past ones did, and we know how well that worked out. The banks are quite happy to keep their bailout money to themselves, and everyone in Washington lacks the political courage to put any pressure on them.

And with everyone running scared from the debt and deficit boogieman, plans that could actually make a difference, like that put forward by former New York governor Eliot Spitzer are never going to happen. Basically, Spitzer lays out the case for Fannie and Freddie addressing the economy by adjusting loan amounts on underwater mortgages they own. He's not the first to propose this type of plan.

At the very minimum, the government should be forcing banks (or the GSEs, at least) to refinance underwater loans at today's incredibly low rates.

The worst thing is that neither Obama, or any of his potential opponents in next year's election, are talking about housing in any significant way. In every previous economic downturn, housing has been the industry to lead us out. Anyone who thinks we can recover this time without a healthy housing market is, quite frankly, an idiot.

Written By

Jonathan Sweet is the editor in chief of Professional Remodeler, an award-winning trade publication for remodelers and home improvement contractors. He started his career covering homes and small businesses at a daily newspaper and has spent more than a decade writing for several construction trade publications including Qualified Remodeler, Construction Pro and Concrete Contractor+Jonathan Sweet

Related Stories

NAHB

FEMA Moves to Improve Flood Insurance Program

NAHB Policy Brief | The next phase of the National Flood Insurance Program is supposed to better reflect the actual risks to properties; builder confidence increased during April

 

Economics

Market Analysts Respond to the Treasury Secretary's Comments on Rising Rates

This week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said interest rates may potentially increase to meet the economic growth, which may have spooked some…

Housing Policy + Finance

Biden Proposes 15% Budget Increase for HUD Aimed at Affordable Housing

President Biden hopes to increase the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by 15%, with funds aimed at boosting affordable…

Advertisement
Advertisement

More in Category




Advertisement
Advertisement

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.


Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Subscribe
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.