Obama urges Watt confirmation to FHFA, discusses housing recovery

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

President Obama said during this week’s address that the housing market is on the mend and urged lawmakers to confirm Mel Watt as the new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

“Today, seven years after the real estate bubble burst, triggering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and costing millions of responsible Americans their jobs and their homes, our housing market is healing,” Obama said. “Sales are up. Foreclosures are down. Construction is expanding. And thanks to rising home prices over the past year, 1.7 million more families have been able to come up for air, because they’re no longer underwater on their mortgages.”

Obama urged Congress to confirm Watt as FHFA director. Watt is a North Carolina native who has served in the House of Representatives since 1992. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a juris doctorate from Yale University Law School.

“Mel’s represented the people of North Carolina in Congress for 20 years, and in that time, he helped lead efforts to put in place rules of the road that protect consumers from dishonest mortgage lenders, and give responsible Americans the chance to own their own home,” Obama said. “He’s the right person for the job, and that’s why Congress should do its job, and confirm him without delay.”

Obama also urged Congress to allow homeowners the chance to refinance, a move he said could save each family $3,000 per year.

“Our economy and our housing market are poised for progress – but we could do so much more if we work together,” Obama said. “More good jobs. Greater security for middle-class families. A sense that your hard work is rewarded. That’s what I’m fighting for – and that’s what I’m going to keep fighting for as long as I hold this office.”

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