|HUD No. 12-076
May 3, 2012
HUD AND OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS HOST GEORGIA WHITE HOUSE FORUM ON HOUSING
HUD, Treasury, USDA, Senior Administration Officials, along with local housing leaders and advocates discuss programs, initiatives and "best practices" for reviving Georgia communities hardest hit by the housing crisis
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a White House Forum on Housing to discuss programs and initiatives promoted by the Obama Administration that help responsible homeowners and struggling communities hit hardest by the housing crisis. The White House Housing Forum convened Georgia housing officials, regional and local leaders, housing and development alliances and community advocates in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building this afternoon for the discussion.
"The housing crisis which began in 2007 saw Georgia's foreclosure rate more than double in the two years before we took office, tens of thousands of families saw their home values plummet, their equity wiped out, and their communities devastated," said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Edward "Ed" Jennings. "However, since then and because of the efforts of the Obama Administration we've seen the market stabilize and begin to recover. When we have forums like the one here today at the White House it brings together people and ideas that will help ensure that recovery continues."
Forum sessions, led by White House and Administration officials, explored tools and resources offered by the federal government and detailed help for homeowners, assistance for underserved communities, insights for cultivating public-private partnerships and the future of housing. Additionally, the historic $25 billion foreclosure settlement, the President's new housing initiatives and legislative proposals impacting housing reforms were discussed.
The unprecedented mortgage servicers settlement is the largest federal-state civil agreement ever obtained and is the result of extensive investigations led by federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, HUD, the HUD Office of the Inspector General (HUD-OIG), 49 state attorneys general and state banking regulators across the country. The joint federal-state group entered into the agreement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers: Bank of America Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, Citigroup Inc., and Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC) - and as a result all Americans are ensured a fair shot, their fair share and fair deal.
"These forums represent the Obama Administration's ongoing efforts to take aggressive steps on behalf of homeowners who have played by the rules and are trying to get ahead," Tammye Trevino, Administrator of USDA's Rural Housing Service said. "During these meetings, USDA will work with industry stakeholders, citizens and other federal officials to build upon the Administration's goals to help responsible homeowners refinance loans, stay in their homes and shore up the nation's housing market."
Participants shared "best practices" and provided feedback on the effectiveness of targeted federal programs and initiatives.
Additionally, in the coming weeks, the Obama Administration will hold additional housing events including a Making Home Affordable homeowner event where borrowers can learn about foreclosure prevention options and get immediate help connecting with a loan servicer representative and local housing counselor. The event will be held in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia International Convention Center on June 1-2.
"More than 30,000 Georgia homeowners currently have lower mortgage payments through the Administration's Making Home Affordable Program, but we know there are additional homeowners who are struggling and eligible for help," said Treasury Homeownership Preservation Chief Darius Kingsley. "We will continue our collaborative work with partners across the state to reach homeowners who are eligible for assistance through programs like Making Home Affordable and HomeSafe Georgia. Treasury and HUD will be sponsoring a free event for homeowners at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta on June 1 and 2--and we encourage any homeowner who is struggling with their mortgage payments to attend."
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.