Bush-Holdover Housing Appointee Standing In The Way Of Relief For Underwater Homeowners and Country’s Economic Progress
New Bottom Line, which has campaigned for the last year to get President Obama to replace Edward DeMarco, Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) with a permanent director who will advocate for homeowners, today applauded Congressman Cummings and Congressman Tierney for their call to have Obama name a permanent director.
Earlier today the Congressmen announced that 45 Members of Congress had joined them in signing a letter to President Obama demand a change in leadership at FHFA immediately.
You can see the letter here: http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/images/stories/DeMarco%20Letter%20to%20POTUS%202-7-13.pdf
"We applaud the action today by Congressmen Cummings and Tierney and their colleagues," said Tracy Van Slyke, director of New Bottom Line. "Since he was appointed as acting director by President Bush, DeMarco has stood in the way of relief for millions of homeowners as well as economic progress for our communities. It is far past time that Obama dump DeMarco and replace him with a director who will implement fair and needed policies—such as principal reduction—to help millions of homeowners, benefit taxpayers and improve our economy.”
Press reports have indicted that the Obama Administration, after four years, is finally prepared to fire DeMarco, a holdover Bush appointee. New Bottom Line, and other advocates, will be using the first 100 days of the President's second term to push him to replace DeMarco him with someone who will aggressively pursue policies- like principal reduction – to help underwater homeowners.
In an op-ed published recently in The Hill, 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 last week on Huffington Post, George Goehl, executive director of National People's Action, 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."