Despite the fact that the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the organization that held mortgages on about 258,000 properties in Chicago, is exempt from the registration requirement, the amendment has resulted in an increase of over 2,100 buildings registered as vacant with the city, most of which are in lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Overall, the city’s website lists 18,170 properties as vacant, 85 percent of which are in low- or moderate-income and majority minority census tracts, an indication of the impact of the disinvestment and population loss that have negat
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt appeared today at the Woodson Regional Library in Washington Heights to raise awareness of the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which has lowered borrowing costs for about 184,000 homeowners in the Chicago area since its 2009 inception. But nearly 36,000 Chicagoans eligible for HARP refinancing have yet to use the program, Mr. Watt said.
“This is just free money when you think about it,” he said.
There is a significant need for programs that prevent foreclosure for underwater homeowners in the Chicago area. More than one in five homeowners in the Chicago region is underwater, and negative equity is disproportionately concentrated in communities of color.
Congressman Melvin Watt was confirmed as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) by the United States Senate in a 57-41 vote yesterday. The FHFA is a powerful federal government agency responsible for regulating government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which invest in more than three-fourths of the nation’s new mortgages.
Senator Dick Durbin voted in favor of Watt's nomination, while Senator Mark Kirk was unable to vote due to an emergency surgery.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted today to filibuster a vote on President Obama’s nomination of Congressman Mel Watt as the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The motion to allow Congressman Watt’s confirmation vote failed on a vote of 56-42 (60 votes are necessary to proceed). The FHFA is a powerful agency that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which invests in more than three-fourths of the nation’s new mortgages. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) voted against the filibuster.
Ever since the collapse of the housing bubble, local officials around the country have had to deal with a massive problem of homes effectively abandoned by banks and other absentee owners.
It’s time for a leader who will make priority one preventing further damage from the foreclosure crisis. Sign onto our letter telling Sen. Kirk that homeowners deserve a vote on new leadership at FHFA.
Congressman Mel Watt’s nomination to lead the FHFA will come to a vote this week on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Congressman Watt possesses vast experience in housing issues and has expressed support for policies that will support recovery in our neighborhoods.
Senator Mark Kirk voted today against the nomination of Congressman Mel Watt of North Carolina as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Despite Senator Kirk’s opposition, the nomination passed out of the Senate Banking Committee on a 12-10 party line vote and will proceed to the full Senate for a vote.