The financial crisis and recession have devastated our community. Home prices throughout South Florida have plummeted, and we are experiencing record number of foreclosures that are devastating families and further damaging home prices throughout entire neighborhoods.
As a Member of Congress, I will work hard to pass legislation to help hard working families stay in their homes. The federal government must empower lenders to make loan modifications for eligible homeowners in order to prevent continued defaults that hurt not just the individual family but also the community and condominium homeowners associations.
Much of our current housing crisis was caused by predatory mortgage lenders who made loans to Americans who could not afford them. As a member of the Florida Senate, I sponsored legislation to impose stricter regulations on mortgage lenders. We must pass federal legislation that holds lenders accountable for truly irresponsible lending practices. Congress has taken first steps by offering some mortgage refinancing assistance, but we can do much more to assist the families of South Florida who are upside down on their loans and worried about foreclosure. The creation of affordable housing is also an essential component of federal housing policy. Affordable rental units and homes are needed for singles, families, and seniors throughout Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Congress must do more to establish and preserve affordable housing by expanding existing successful programs and finding new ways to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing.