Tackling housing woes priority for Obama: aide

DETROIT Mon Sep 5, 2011 12:59pm EDT

President Barack Obama is pictured as the sun breaks through clouds at a town hall-style event in Alpha, Illinois, August 17, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed

President Barack Obama is pictured as the sun breaks through clouds at a town hall-style event in Alpha, Illinois, August 17, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

DETROIT (Reuters) - Tackling the housing market's woes is a "high priority" for President Barack Obama, a White House official said on Monday, but the aide would not say whether housing-related measures would be in Obama's jobs speech later this week.

"There is no question that there are far too many working families who are concerned about the challenge of affording their mortgage payment every month," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters accompanying Obama to Detroit for a Labor Day holiday speech.

Earnest said whether or not that is in Obama's Thursday speech before a joint session of Congress, "it's something that's a high priority for this administration."

Sources close to the White House told Reuters that the White House is considering an initiative that would make it easier for struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages and take advantage of current low interest rates.

Those sources said Obama is likely to give a nod to this in his speech on Thursday in which he will lay out proposals for creating jobs and shoring up an economy in danger of sliding into another recession.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan; editing by Matt Spetalnick and Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (8)
seattlesh wrote:
There have been 2.3 million foreclosures since 2008, what has taken the Obama administration so long to react. Like most things Obama, a day late and a dollar short.

Sep 05, 2011 12:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dominickspez wrote:
He will tackle housing by having the Fed issue mortgage refi’s directly for all current loans held nby fnma,freddie, and FHA. And they will be done at little or no cost and below 4%, effectively cutting out the banks fees and servicing rights.

Sep 05, 2011 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oi812 wrote:
The housing market was the main cause of unemployment and until you fix that you will continue to have high unemployment. Most construction companies let their older workers go first when they needed to downsize and it will be real hard for them to relocate into different business sectors-I do not think they will get hired by google. This has been the problem and Obama has done nothing or very little to fix this problem. Throwing money to keep public sector union workers employed will not help the economy recover-it only helps those workers but does nothing to get economy moving again. Some how we need to reach the bottom of the housing market so it can start rebounding. Either foreclose on everyone and clear the market or have the banks do loan modification so those that can stay in their house can afford it and prevent them from going into foreclosure

Sep 05, 2011 1:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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