Home prices are gradually increasing and foreclosures are declining, but our slow-moving housing recovery still leaves many Californians with significant financial struggles. Many families are either barely able to make mortgage payments or stuck in a home that is still worth less than the amount owed. In our district, 20 percent of the 50,000 homes backed by Fannie Mae are “under water” and in jeopardy of foreclosure.
Our economy will continue to struggle and consumer confidence will never return unless we fix our housing situation.
To improve our housing market we need to:
• Allow all homeowners to refinance their mortgages at today’s historically low rates. This would put an average of $3,000 per year back into the pockets of middle class families.
• Put a principal reduction plan in place for underwater homeowners that would allow their mortgages to more accurately reflect the market value of their house. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) own analysis and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) both conclude that implementing principal reduction programs for underwater mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could save U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars by avoiding unnecessary defaults, helping homeowners avoid foreclosures and remain in their homes, and stimulating additional growth across the economy.
• Begin the process of reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so that they can begin to function as a backstop for catastrophic failure rather than as a first line guarantor for mortgages.
These policies will help keep people in their homes and keep neighborhood values up. That’s good for families, our communities, our district and our economy.
If you are facing problems with your mortgage, we might be able to help. You can contact my district offices here.
More on Housing
Washington – Today House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued much-needed guidance clarifying that tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds (PABs) can be used to help finance housing projects for veterans, farmworkers and other populations.
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) and Rep Jared Huffman (CA-02) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted an extension for the Direct Temporary Housing Program which provides affordable housing for home owners and renters who had their homes destroyed in the October 2017 fires. Thompson and Huffman wrote to FEMA asking for an extension earlier this month.
Napa, CA – Today, Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded the Greater Napa Valley Fair Housing Center $425,000 in Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) grants to support its work to confront violations of the Fair Housing Act.
Washington – Today, Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-05) and Paul Cook (CA-08) introduced the Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act of 2017 to exclude incentives for residential seismic retrofits from federal taxation. These earthquake mitigation measures are already tax-free at the state level in California.
Bill Swindell | The Press Democrat
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, introduced a bill Wednesday that would exempt measures for residential seismic retrofits from federal tax.
Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) called for improvements to low-income housing tax credits, which encourage property owners and private investors to invest in affordable housing. Tax credits are awarded to developers, who then use them for affordable housing projects that otherwise would not be profitable because of low rents. Thompson cosponsored the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017, which reforms these credits to increase access to affordable housing.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) today sent a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt to ask that the FHFA issue policy guidance that allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fully participate in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs across our country.
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) today sent a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt to ask that the FHFA issue policy guidance that allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fully participate in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs nationwide.
Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) announced today that $3.9 million in Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grants have been awarded to help finance five Napa County housing projects.
NAPA, CA - U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) and the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) today encouraged Napa homeowners to apply for grants of up to $3,000 made available by the Napa Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program (Napa EBB) to help strengthen their homes against earthquake damage. Registration for the grants, which are funded in part by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is open through March 22, 2016.