Office of Congresswoman Shea-Porter - Shea-Porter Backs Critical Housing Bill

Legislation will support homeowners, address mortgage crisis

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter continued to stand up for New Hampshire families by voting for comprehensive housing legislation. If signed into law, the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 (HR 3221) will help families facing foreclosure stay in their homes, while helping others avoid future foreclosures. It would also take action against abusive lenders, and restore market confidence by revamping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The legislation passed by a vote of 272 to 152.

The mortgage crisis is affecting homeowners across the country, and thousands of people are at risk of losing their homes,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “This bi-partisan legislation will help bring stability to the markets, rein in predatory lenders, and ensure safe, affordable mortgages are available.”

The subprime mortgage crisis has already forced thousands of Americans into foreclosure, and millions more are on the brink. As housing prices continue to drop, some homeowners find that their mortgage exceeds the value of their home. This prevents them from refinancing if they become unable to make monthly mortgage payments, effectively forcing them into foreclosure.

This crisis impacts all of us,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “If houses in your neighborhood go into foreclosure, it is likely that the value of your house will go down. We must keep Americans in their homes.”

The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act will allow hard-working American families in danger of losing their home to refinance into lower-cost government-insured mortgages they can afford to repay – at no cost to the American taxpayer. The legislation also:

o strengthens the neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis by providing resources to allow cities and states to buy up and rehabilitate foreclosed properties that are currently driving down home prices, reducing state and local revenues, and destabilizing neighborhoods;

o expands homeownership opportunities for veterans and helps returning soldiers avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes;

o provides tax breaks to spur home buying; and

o creates a new fund to boost the nation’s stock of affordable rental housing in both rural and urban areas for low and very low-income individuals and families.

The bill will provide mortgage refinancing assistance which will keep at least 400,000 families from losing their homes, protect neighboring home values, and stabilize the housing market.