Holdover Housing Appointee Standing In The Way Of Relief For Homeowners In advance of the State of the Union, advocates led by New Bottom Line are ramping up their campaign to get Edward DeMarco, Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA), fired and replaced with a director who will fight for relief for homeowners.
Press reports have indicted that the Obama Administration, after four years, is finally prepared to fire DeMarco. Advocates will be using the first 100 days of the President's second term to push him to not only replace DeMarco but replace him with someone who will aggressively pursue policies- like principle reduction – to help underwater homeowners. In an op-ed published in The Hill late last week, Tracy Van Slyke, director of New Bottom Line, wrote:
"For too many American citizens, our country’s creeping economic stabilization is hollow. Ever since Wall Street and big banks crashed the economy, 14 million homeowners are underwater—owing more on their homes than what they are worth — while millions of others have already had their homes ripped away from them through unfair or avoidable foreclosures.
DeMarco is the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Administration, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Between those two entities, they hold or control more than half the mortgages in this country. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s purpose are to allow all people to access affordable housing, not just the wealthy. But instead of people being able to remain in their homes, much less access an affordable house, DeMarco’s actions are driving millions of homeowners into unnecessary debt and foreclosure. President Obama was lambasted in his first term for not doing enough to deal with the housing crisis and its impact on our economy. If his second term is going to be any different, President Obama needs to nominate a new FHFA director in the first 100 days. With this one action, he will set the tone of his administration for the next four years. He will also simultaneously demonstrate that he is committed to rebuilding our economy, strengthening the middle class and supporting communities of color."
In a post today on Huffington Post, George Goehl, executive director of National People's Action and co-founder of New Bottom Line, wrote:
"Americans need President Obama to move a nomination for a new FHFA director within the first 100 days of his second term. The new FHFA director must be someone who will put the needs of families, communities and our economy above ideology."
"FHFA has been without a permanent Director for more than four years. Press reports have said that the Administration is planning to move a nomination for FHFA Director to the Senate for confirmation and this is good news. Millions of homeowners, and our nation's economy, cannot wait another four years, or even four months, for this roadblock to be removed."
The campaign to fire DeMarco will continue to heat up over the next few weeks leading up to the President's State of the Union address and throughout the first 100 days of the new term.