Obama talks housing in weekly address
August 10th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
1 year ago

Obama talks housing in weekly address

(CNN) - In his weekly address Saturday, President Barack Obama emphasized the plan he laid out earlier this week to further bolster the nation's housing market.

In a speech in Phoenix, Obama called for the phase-out of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and for a greater private-sector role in doling out loans.

He also pushed for a return of the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, considered a safe bet compated to more exotic loans.

Read Obama's full remarks below.

Hi, everybody. For the past few weeks, I’ve been visiting folks across America to talk about what we need to do as a country to secure a better bargain for the middle class.

I’ve been laying out my ideas for how we can build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America. A good job. A good education. Affordable health care when you get sick. A secure retirement even if you’re not rich. And the chance to own your own home.

This week, I went to Arizona and California, two of the states hit hardest when the housing bubble burst, triggering the recession. All across the country, millions of responsible Americans were hurt badly by the reckless actions of others. Home values plummeted. Construction workers were laid off. And many families lost their homes.

Over the past four years, we’ve worked to help millions of responsible homeowners get back on their feet. And while we’re not where we need to be yet, our housing market is beginning to heal. Home prices and sales are rising. Construction is up. Foreclosures are down. Millions of families have come up for air because they’re no longer underwater on their mortgages.

Now we have to build on this progress. Congress should give every American the chance to refinance at today’s low rates. We should help more qualified families get a mortgage and buy their first home. We should get construction workers back on the job rebuilding communities hit hardest by the crisis. And we should make sure that folks who don’t want to buy a home have decent, affordable places to rent.

As home prices rise, we have to turn the page on the bubble-and-bust mentality that created this mess, and build a housing system that’s rock-solid and rewards responsibility for generations to come. We need to wind down the companies known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, make sure private capital plays a bigger role in the mortgage market, and end the era of expecting a bailout after your pursuit of profit puts the whole country at risk. We need to preserve access to safe and simple mortgages like the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. We need to keep laying down rules of the road that protect homeowners when they’re making the biggest purchase of their lives. And finally, Congress needs to confirm Mel Watt to be our nation’s top housing regulator, so that he can protect consumers and help responsible lenders provide credit.

No program or policy will solve all the problems in a multi-trillion dollar housing market, and it will take time to fully recover. But if we work together, we can make a home a source of pride and middle-class security again. And if Washington is willing to set aside politics and focus on what really matters, we can rebuild an economy where if you work hard, you can get ahead.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.


Filed under: Economy • President Obama
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    His plan is NOT to bolster the markets........it is to force desegregation on all communities that are all white........and that means all of the wealthiest communities in America. His plan is to pay for blacks to move into your neighborhoods, and for you to have to deal with the criminal behaviors.

    August 10, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  2. Dixie

    Doesn't the ability to buy a house depend on being able to pay for it? Guess those middle class jobs will need to come first. We sure can't do it on part time work.

    August 10, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    Do not over build homes–this is where the trouble started, do not give loans that do not qualify. We have enough existing homes. By over-building you do environmental damage.

    August 10, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  4. HenryMiller

    "Obama called for the phase-out of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and for a greater private-sector role in doling out loans."

    Great! Now if only Obama were bright enough to understand that the same solution would work just as well in the medical insurance business...

    August 10, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. peppey

    Once again the class clown spews crap on a subject he knows nothing about. Gov refis are appox 50% default rate.
    Geeesch what a jerk.

    August 10, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Hector Slagg

    Dear Folks,
    We need to bolster home ownership for the average american. For that you will possibly need a full time job and steady income. It will help if you can first save up at leas a 5 percent down payment and a lot more if you possibly can. In the present economy it may not be possible to save anything as government policies are killing the American Dream. You folks have voted for it so you have it. You trusted the Government and that failed. Now you might want to start trusting yourself.

    August 10, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. chris

    Federal affordable-housing mandates were a major factor in the mortgage crisis, fueling the housing bubble and the subsequent collapse of the housing and financial markets, which helped bring down the economy. Even the liberal Village Voice has admitted that. Who drafted those awful mandates? ACORN, reports the Washington Examiner, in “How ACORN Destroyed the Housing Market.”

    How did ACORN cause the “housing bubble” and “financial collapse”? ACORN lobbyists drafted “affordable-housing” mandates to pressure the mortgage giants to buy up more risky loans and mortgages from low-income communities, loans that banks in turn were pressured to make by the Community Reinvestment Act, explains The Wall Street Journal.

    ACORN also helped spawn the mortgage crisis by promoting “liar loans.” It has a long history of financial fraud, vote fraud, tax evasion, waste, and mismanagement.

    August 10, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    President Obama is working hard for the American people and the GOP/tea trolls are .... resting up on recess so they can come back and vote to repeal Obamacare for the 41st time!

    Only a fool would vote Repub in 2014, only a fool.

    August 10, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    @Peppey: Cite your factual source.

    August 10, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. anonoymous

    Most be sad to know that the president with all your hateful name calling and accusing him of being stupid beat both of your candidates. Something romney nor mccain can ever say. Oh rick daniel as a black living in a suburban area dont worry im on the look out for any suspsious looking white men lurking through the neighborhood. Cant trust em can you? just ask the indians they'll steal you blind!

    August 10, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. geg

    its a wonder republicans have not come up with a idea to ship houses to china,they have shipped everything else

    August 10, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  12. Chris

    This idiot is planning to FORCE people into communities where they simply are not wanted nor welcomed. I'm sorry, but until the black community solves their own problems with bad behavior they nor Obama should expect white America to accept them as equals because -– well, they aren't equals when it comes to behavior.

    August 10, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  13. Revolution

    Start with Detroit mr. Pres

    August 11, 2013 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  14. DavidK

    Rick McDaniel is so full of hate, he has not even commented on the economic merits/demirits of a purely economics subject, instead he spews hatred, I wonder how even CNN would allow such comments to be published

    August 11, 2013 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  15. king

    its amazinig, every disaster the repubs predicted seems to have the opposite effect when the president tries to fix our economy from the great recession. now obamacare which is targeting the 15 percent of our country that doesn't have it, has been under attack from the rabid right ever since its inception in the great recession. our country have been growing for the 40 months when it came into existence month after month after month, and stop shedding the 800 thousand jobs the economy was shedding before the law. now since most of our factories had left our shores to china before the law existed, and started flooding back to our shores after the law was enacted. i wonder if the repubs want to get rid of such a rock that brought our country back from annihilation and set our companies jumping our borders again when they've destroy obamacare.

    August 11, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    You can bark what all you can and spew what all venom you can–truth is this nation is broke because of Rethuglicans and their idiotic war policies. Know this truth–God excuses you.

    August 11, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  17. Tony

    The way things are going for Republicans– even by Boehner's standard, who wants to be judged by how many Obama's bills they can repeal, Republicans are complete failures– they will need housing assistance from the government soon.

    August 11, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  18. Gunderson

    Um, so cute. Think Again ask Peppey to cite proof. What dat? You ask/ Proof all over place. Why you think Obama spouting message? Open eyes. You no like jobs be ship China? You no like Jobs now part time? You vote for it. Now you don't like it? Listen to conservatives. They know what talikng about.

    August 11, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. don in albuquerque

    Ah Ricky, you are a small disgusting little individual aren't you. Did you go to church this morning, Mr. McDaniel? Bet you did.

    August 11, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. slalom5

    I did go to church this morning and I still don't get it.
    Why shouldn't we live where we want to live? Why do American naturally choose places that end up segregated instead of mixed together? I know of no reason or law that prevents them from choosing otherwise. So why use force?
    And what if the area is primarily black? Are Hispanics going to choose that place to live for "integration reasons"? If landowners are going to be forced to diversify,are they going to be fined despite a Hispanic's refusal to live in a black neighborhood?

    August 11, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Steveo

    @geg
    its a wonder republicans have not come up with a idea to ship houses to china,they have shipped everything else
    ---------
    Here is a little history Geg, The Obama administration's hand picked Job Czar is Jeff Immelt. Jeff Immelt is also the CEO of GE. GE recently shipped its Medical Division from Wisconsin to China! So you can blame the GOP for every woe we face in this country, if you want, BUT you WOULD NOT engaging in the truth! As I said before the GOP does not do this alone!

    August 11, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. Steveo

    This social engineering C-RAP need to stop!

    August 11, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. chris

    Acorn Destroyed The Housing Market Under The Community Reinvestment Act Forcing Banks to give loans to people who could not pay the banks back

    August 11, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  24. onlyfacts

    Rick McDaniel, Chris and Slalom5 you are all IDIOTS! An embarrassment to the human race! Chris, do you know what a mortgage default swap is?????? These lenders were betting/gambling that these high risk people would default on their loans. When they defaulted the lenders made more money! They purposely approved loans for these people, when they shouldn't have. Your pea brained ACORN story is hilarious!

    August 11, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |