Watt Nomination a Good Sign, But Homeowners Need Relief Now



For Immediate Release                                                        


CLEVELAND, OH – President Obama’s nomination of Congressman Mel Watt for Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency is a welcome sign of the administration’s commitment to dealing with the lingering devastation of the housing crisis.  Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People urges the Senate to move quickly to confirm Representative Watt. While this nomination moves through the Senate we also ask the White House to immediately name a new Acting Director to help homeowners who continue to struggle with underwater mortgages and a sluggish housing recovery.

While national trends for the housing market are on the rise, in Ohio there were more than 70,000 new foreclosure filings last year.  According to RealtyTrac Ohio has had more than 10,000 new foreclosure filings in both February and March of this year. Families are still suffering and there is still much work to be
done.  This crisis calls for American ingenuity and leadership. It’s time to use all the options available to protect homeownership, help families stabilize their finances, and rebuild American communities.

The current Acting Director Edward DeMarco has repeatedly declined to use all of the effective options available to help homeowners recover from the housing crisis. He has refused to allow mortgage principal correction despite his own agency’s evidence that a principal correction program would keep families in their homes while saving taxpayers money. 

ESOP is optimistic that Representative Watt will show real leadership to help keep families in their homes, ensure fair lending and servicing practices, boost the housing recovery and chart a course for the appropriate role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in housing finance. 

Every day that DeMarco remains in his position the FHFA puts more families at risk of foreclosure and delays the housing recovery.  If DeMarco won’t act then we call on the Senate and the White House to act quickly to replace him with someone who will.