Posts tagged ‘mortgage’

June 27, 2009

Affordable Housing, Florida Response

Dear Mr. Shaw,

Thank you for your recent email regarding funding for affordable housing in Florida. As your State Representative, I appreciate learning of your concerns.

The fiscal challenges we’re experiencing in Tallahassee are a symptom of a slowing economy nationwide, not just in Florida. We are facing an unprecedented $6.3 billion deficit for next fiscal year and will be forced to make tough decisions regarding Florida’s budget.

Let me be clear – I don’t relish the fact that we are being forced to make these tough decisions, but we were elected to serve in good times and in bad, and we are constitutionally mandated to balance the budget. Unlike the federal government, we cannot spend money that we do not have.

As you are aware, over the last ten years we have appropriated $2.8 billion for affordable housing programs. Unfortunately, with continued decreases in state revenues we do not have the resources to fully fund these programs this fiscal year. After much deliberation and consideration, the House’s budget proposal returns $123 million from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to General Revenue in order to offset reductions to education, health care and public safety. This is a onetime transfer for the 2009-10 Fiscal Year and funding can be restored for next year. It is critical to understand that even though the House isn’t proposing to fund affordable housing this year, Florida will receiving over $559 million in federal stimulus money for affordable housing programs.

Our reductions to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation are not because we do not recognize the importance of affordable housing programs, but rather because we believe Florida is in a unique position at this time. For example, Florida currently has a surplus of 385,000 unsold homes on the market, which is 20 months of inventory. At a time when home prices are plummeting and there is an abundance of affordable housing, adding new housing can actually exacerbate the State’s economic problem. Home prices have also fallen about 20 percent in the past year, making it more affordable than ever to buy.

There are also federal, state and local housing programs that can help buyers purchase existing homes. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit was increase from $7,500 to $8,000 for purchases on or after January 1, 2009, and before December 1, 2009. The Florida House also has legislation this year, House Joint Resolution 97, provides an additional homestead exemption for a homeowner the first time he or she establishes a homestead in Florida.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns regarding affordable housing funding. As we continue through the budget process I will keep your thoughts in mind. If I may be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Representative Baxter G. Troutman

June 18, 2009

Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act

Dear Mr. Shaw:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R.3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007. I appreciate your thoughts and the opportunity to respond.

As you know, this legislation amends the Truth in Lending Act. The bill would establish a national minimum lending standard, while making companies that back risky mortgages liable when financial markets deteriorate. If passed the bill would create a nationwide mortgage licensing system. Lenders would be prohibited from directing consumers into loans they are unlikely to be able to pay back. Lastly, the bill prohibits lenders from collecting excessive fees or practices that may lead a barrower to foreclosure, as well as prepayment penalties and forcing customers to participate in binding arbitration.

I made a speech on the Senate floor to address the sub-prime mortgage industry, text of this speech can be found on my website through the following link, http://isakson.senate.gov/floor/2007/032907subprime.htm. It is my opinion that we do not need to overreact to what is going on in the sub-prime mortgage industry, rather we should be correcting the mistakes in the industry such as implementing stricter underwriting and documentation standards in order to qualify for these loans. Rest assured, I will continue to closely monitor this situation, and thank you again for contacting me with your thoughts on this issue.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please visit my webpage at http://isakson.senate.gov for more information on the issues important to you and to sign up for my e-newsletter.

Sincerely,
Johnny Isakson
United States Senator

June 17, 2009

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP

In September of 2008, members of the House along with several members of the Housing and Urban Development committee began talks to discuss changes in how homelessness is characterized and defined in the eyes of America. Since then, efforts have come to pass in the regards of preventive responses considering how homelessness is characterized by the Housing and Urban Development committee.

Under federal guidelines when considering someone that expresses the defined characterization of homelessness: “A homeless individual shall be eligible for assistance under any program provided by this chapter, only if the individual complies with the income eligibility requirements otherwise applicable to such program.”(Title 42, Chapter 119, Subchapter I; 11302. General definition of homeless individual)

The United States has the largest number of homeless women and children that has been reported since the Great Depression, have so many families been without homes. Homelessness became a significant social problem in the 1980s. The number of people experiencing homelessness has risen steadily to the present levels of three to four million annually.

As the start of 2009 and a new presidency begins the approach considered by this nation is that homelessness can be ended before it becomes a permanent feature of the national landscape. From that thought congress in its 111th session has introduced The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP),” under Title XII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Rapid Re-Housing is an innovative program that facilitates rapid re-housing by relying on early identification and resolution of a family’s or individual’s “housing barriers” and providing the assistance necessary to facilitate their return to permanent housing.

As Homeless Prevention is expressed, rapidly re-housing those that have been threaten by job loss and foreclosure by boosting the economic approach upon a federal response is the best option as of yet. Housing has become affordable to the point that this is the best case scenario to place an impactful consideration towards the employment and housing industries while they are pliable regarding a public view.