Stable housing is critical to rebuilding and strengthening our communities and to our economic recovery. Accordingly, I have voted for, and advocated on behalf of, full funding for these important programs:
• The HOME program, which is used by states and local governments to assist low-income families with affordable housing,
• Neighborworks America, which has been a leader in affordable housing and community development since 1978,
• The Fair Housing Initiatives Program, which plays a crucial role in educating communities on the housing industry, and enforcing housing discrimination laws.
• Community Development Block Grants, the linchpin in the federal government’s commitment to help cities, counties, and states meet the needs of low- and middle-income residents and communities.
As a member of the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness, I will continue to work to address the lack of access to affordable housing, and will continue fighting for the fair treatment of homeowners and renters.
Mortgages and Foreclosure
If you are facing foreclosure, please visit www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov or call my Oregon Office at (503) 469-6010. Be wary of foreclosure consultants who make promises and make sure that any housing counselor you work with is HUD certified. More information is available at foreclosurehelp.oregon.gov.
The foreclosure crisis has caused devastation for many Oregonians. Too many families are underwater on their mortgages and many people, including families with children, have lost their homes. I am carefully monitoring the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as well as the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to ensure that strong regulations prevent another financial crisis.
The economy won’t fully recover until the housing market is vital again. We need to explore policies that will help homeowners stay in their homes while the economy is recovering. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and with advocates and the industry to address this important issue. I have joined with many of my colleagues in calling on the Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency to reconsider his decision that prohibits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from reducing the principal owed on underwater mortgages. With so many mortgages underwater, this change could an immediate and constructive role in restoring confidence in the housing market.
Additionally I am supporting legislation to extend the availability of USDA home loans in rural communities. The USDA program has helped with homeownership in rural towns across the country and in Oregon for years, and communities that have qualified for the program in the past should be able to continue to participate if they have maintained rural characteristics.