The claws are coming out. Yesterday, Democratic lawmakers (see BLOG VIEW) urged the Bush administration to address the real estate market, mortgage financing and foreclosure crises. In response, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson issued a statement:
"For almost two years, the Bush administration has urged Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that reforms the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and gives potential homebuyers a safe, fair and more affordable alternative to the exotic subprime market. While I'm pleased that the House has approved an FHA reform bill, I'm disappointed that the Senate still has not acted on this vital legislation.
"Unfortunately, Congress hasn't sent the president an FHA reform bill. In the interim, the president took immediate action in August to help troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure. The president's FHASecure plan will help an estimated one-quarter of a million families who are either current or delinquent on their loans stay in their homes over the next year.
"Every day that Congress fails to act on FHA reform, more families are placed at unnecessary risk of foreclosure. To place even one family at risk is irresponsible, and Congress should stop playing politics with homeowners' financial security."
Also, the Bush administration today announced that $44.1 million in housing counseling grants are being made available to nearly 400 national, state and local housing counseling agencies.