Cardoza criticizes administration's 'hands-off' approach toward housing market

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) gave the following reaction to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s comments that the U.S. has “several more years to go” before the housing market recovers, and “it’s going to take time still to heal.”

“This Administration’s hands-off approach to the housing crisis is stunning, and Mr. Geithner’s laissez-faire remarks show they have no intention of seriously attacking the central cause of our current economic downturn,” Cardoza said in a news release. “The half-baked federal housing programs created thus far have failed to stem the crisis. In fact, more Americans will go into foreclosure this year than in any year since the housing crisis began. How many more families must needlessly lose their homes before this Administration wakes up?”

Cardoza co-chairs the Democratic Caucus Housing Stabilization Task Force in the 112th Congress. His Congressional district in California’s Central Valley has been ground-zero for the housing crisis. Modesto, Stockton and Merced all rank in the top 10 of cities with the highest foreclosure rates in the country, and three out of five homeowners are “underwater,” owing more on their home loans than their houses are worth.

Cardoza’s housing legislation, the Housing Opportunity and Mortgage Equity (HOME) Act is a far-reaching, commonsense approach that capitalizes on market-based solutions to help people stay in their homes, according to the news release The HOME Act would allow as many as 30 million homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to benefit from the current low market interest rates and refinance for up to 40 years at a fixed single-digit rate.

Refinancing would significantly lower the homeowner’s monthly mortgage payments, resulting in fewer foreclosures, and stabilizing the housing market and the national economy, the news release said.