policy / politics / President's plan

A Better Bargain for Responsible, Middle Class Homeowners

In today’s speech, the President laid out his plan to create a better bargain for responsible, middle class homeowners.  More than five years after the real estate bubble burst, our housing market has begun to heal.  Now we need to build on that progress to make homeownership more affordable and secure—including doing more to cut red tape and help homeowners refinance – while also ending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as we know them so taxpayers are no longer on the hook for bad loans and bailouts.

  • Over the last four years, we’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth.
  • Right now, the auto industry is booming, the housing market is coming back with home values rising and foreclosures falling, exports are at record highs, our deficits are shrinking, and over the last 41 months businesses have created over 7.3 million new jobs. But we have a lot of work to do and we need to continue to build on the progress we’ve made.
  • That’s why the President has a plan to offer a better bargain for the middle class, which is built on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class: a good job, a quality education, a home that’s your own, a secure retirement, and affordable health care you can count on.
  • The opportunity to own your own home is the most tangible cornerstone of middle class life.  But when President Obama took office, our housing market was in free-fall.  Many who did everything right were hurt badly by the actions of others, losing their homes, or becoming trapped in an underwater mortgage.
  • There’s still more to do, but in part because of President Obama’s tough regulations that supported responsible homeowners and cracked down on the most reckless practices that led to the housing crisis, the market has begun to heal, and middle-class Americans can feel more confident and secure when they borrow money to purchase their own home.
  • Working together we need to build a more durable and fair system that promotes the American Dream of homeownership, while preventing the nightmare of another crisis.
  • In today’s speech, the President laid out his ideas to help more responsible homeowners refinance, to cut red tape, to increase home values by fixing our broken immigration system, to help the hardest hit communities rebuild, and to ensure those who rent have decent and affordable options.
  • The President also made it clear that going back to the same bubble-and-bust housing system that caused the financial crisis is not acceptable. We need a rock-solid foundation for financing homeownership with a bigger role for the private sector, where taxpayers aren’t on the hook for the irresponsible behavior or bad decisions of financial institutions. Let’s finally put an end to an era where Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could expect a bailout for risky behavior in pursuit of profits.
  • These bipartisan solutions will help build on the progress we’ve made over the last four years, and together we can make owning a home a symbol of responsibility and a source of security for generations to come.
  • But Congress also needs to act.  While the President can take executive action to cut red tape and help make a family’s most important financial decision safe and simple, only Congress can help responsible families save $3,000 a year by refinancing while rates are still low and only Congress can build a durable, fair housing finance system so taxpayers are no longer on the hook for bad loans and bailouts.  Both are bipartisan, commonsense ideas that would go a long way to help middle class families benefit directly from the recovery in the housing market.
  • American families have made some tough decisions over the last few years, now it’s time for Washington to do its part. Instead of playing politics with the economy, Republicans in Congress should join the President to focus on creating a better bargain for the middle class.


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