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Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Madam Chair, I rise today in opposition to both H.R. 830, the FHA Refinance Program Termination Act, and H.R. 836, the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act, which we will debate tomorrow.
I readily recognize that both these programs could have accomplished more in helping Americans to save their homes. But, just because a program needs improving does not mean that it should be eliminated.
There is a tremendous need for programs that help homeowners to stay in their homes. We have assisted large national banks, Wall Street investment companies, and the major automobile companies of our country. In fairness, we cannot turn our backs on the hard-working American homeowners--who in most cases were victims of the large, multi-billion dollar financial organizations--and allow them to lose their homes because the economy has hit on such low times.
These mortgage assistance programs can make a difference in the Fourth Congressional District of Arizona. I am told by housing officials in Arizona that part of the reason so little has been done and these programs have had such a limited level of success is that the infrastructure for administering them, both in the private and semi-public sectors, was not in place. And, even when it was put into place, many financial institutions failed to fully cooperate.
Can these programs be improved? The answer is a definite yes.
Should these programs be improved? Again, the answer is yes.
But let us work to fix them, so that they can keep families in their homes.
Local authorities need more discretion in making decisions. The Phoenix housing market is a perfect example of this. Dollar limits that may suffice in other parts of the country are not sufficient in higher priced markets like Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami, and San Diego.
But, we should not just eliminate these programs because they have struggled to become operative. Let's work together to fix the problems, not create further problems by evicting people from their homes.
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