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Obama’s State of the Union – Housing Gets Three Lines in 70 Minutes

Obama’s attempt to reinvigorate the masses

obamaDebate the merit of the State of the Union address as you will- some say hooray to Obama’s hard stance against the uncooperative nature of the Republican party, others are upset at his informal tone and giving the “clean coal” lobby a win, while others are enraged by his bashing of the former administration while repeating the very isolationist rhetoric he ran against.

Despite all that, we can all agree that he barely addressed the housing industry, notably one of the biggest pieces of the failing economy, second only to unemployment (which was the main focus last night)… unless you call three lines of a one hour nine minute speech worthy of the scope of the crisis we’re in. Don’t believe it? Here is the portion of the State of the Union that was devoted to housing, mortgage, the real estate economy, foreclosures, short sales, or anything real estate related:

That’s why we’re working to lift the value of a family’s single largest investment — their home. The steps we took last year to shore up the housing market have allowed millions of Americans to take out new loans and save an average of $1,500 on mortgage payments. This year, we will step up refinancing so that homeowners can move into more affordable mortgages.” (for the full speech, click here)

Is that enough?

I’ll say it again- three lines in a 69 minute speech… is that enough? Here’s how the housing crisis portion of the speech went (in layman’s terms): we want to raise home values… pat us on the back for saving people a few bucks last year… this year we’re gonna do a little more of that, yeah! But what was left out was …but pay no mind to the man behind the curtain whose name is Historic Foreclosures.

Is saying “we will step up refinancing” enough, given the scope of the housing crisis? What IS enough? Revamping HAMP? Starting a new loan modification program? Creating more tax incentives for transacting real estate? Pushing FHA to change their standards? Putting more “swat teams” on the ground in lenders’ offices?

All that happened last night was three lines in a critical speech, akin to an “oh yeah, and I almost forgot, but that housing thing was okay last year and this year will be okay-er.”

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Thomas A. B. Johnson

    January 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    3 lines? I must have been snoozing through them. Oops.

  2. Kristal Kraft

    January 29, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    It’s so much easier to poke at the past than to be creative and lead into the future. The housing industry will not recover until employment improves. People can’t buy houses if they don’t have jobs and job security.

  3. pistol pete

    January 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    and the housing market won’t improve with another loan mod program that doesn’t write down the principal of the loan or give homeowners equity.

  4. Aaron Charlton

    January 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I’m starting to get the mindset that the less government officials say about an issue important to me, the better, because if they’re not politicking about it, then they don’t feel obligated to step in and totally screw it up. Mr. President, you’ve done enough. I support your new “hands-off” approach.

  5. Barbara Mionie

    February 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Loan Mods are a disappointment….$1500 on average…i was lucky to get $300 a month off …they can still say no to the loan mod after 3 mos trial period and you are back to square one….all along still going forward with foreclosure… they don’t tell you that the 2% int. rate is only good for maybe 5yrs. then it goes up a percentage point every year until when? then it’s good for the life of the loan.. Principal balance is over what you started with so you are more in the hole….guess what…..one previous writer was correct…..without principal being actual value of the home….loan mods are a waste. bank would rather give to a new buyer the house at a loss to the bank than give that same consideration to the homeowner…what ever.

  6. j windland

    February 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    If the president addressed every major issue troubling this country, the critics would say he
    was longwinded and tried to appease every interest group. I think he is doing an amazing
    job trying to tackle as many problems as humanly possible. Whey does this man sleep?
    I say support him, give him his shot, then let’s look back and evaluate next election.

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