A Strong First Step

This is an image of a boarded up home, with a sign that reads "No Copper".

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

Comment Letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency Urging Them to Strengthen 2015-2017 Affordable Housing Goals

This letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency affirms the importance of creating strong affordable housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to promote access to mortgage credit for lower-wealth borrowers.

Federal housing chief pitches mortgage relief program (Crain's Chicago Business)

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.

Mel Watt confirmed as FHFA director

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. Kirk votes to block new leadership of housing regulator

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.

Tell Sen. Kirk to allow a vote for new leadership at FHFA

Written by Dan Fair on October 29, 2013 - 10:22am

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.

Struggling Chicago area homeowners still need help, despite some positive signs

August 16, 2013 - 10:35am
On its face, this sounds like good news, but it’s too soon to break out the champagne. It seems unlikely that the foreclosure crisis over when more than a third of Chicago region homes are underwater and unemployment remains persistently high
There likely are a number of reasons behind the drop in new foreclosures.

Senator Kirk votes to block Mel Watt as director of Fannie, Freddie regulator

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.


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