Housing has been a constant focus of mine since taking office as the representative of Nevada's Third Congressional District. Soon after taking office, I put people ahead of politics by voting to maintain the FHA Refinance Program and the Home Affordable Modification program (HAMP).
Many constituents who have contacted my office suffered a foreclosure in the economic downturn due to a job loss. Since that time, however, they have found employment and are renting a home, so I introduced a bill to help those folks get their piece of the American dream back.
The Second Chance at Homeownership Act would create a program within the Federal Housing Administration to provide 30-year fixed interest rate loans to certain individuals who have experienced a foreclosure or short-sale. This legislation puts appropriate protections in place to ensure that those who are a given a second chance at homeownership can afford their new home by requiring that mortgage payments not exceed the amount the participant has paid for the previous twelve monthly rent payments. I believe that by getting people back into homes we will stabilize communities, increase property values and improve Nevada's economy.
I know that families and communities in southern Nevada have been hit the hardest by the housing crisis, and I wanted their voices to be heard. After months of work, I was able to bring a House Financial Services Committee field hearing on housing and foreclosure mitigation to Las Vegas so that Members could hear about the situation on the ground from the people who have experienced it. We brought together state and local housing officials, credit union representatives and real estate professionals for a hearing entitled "An Examination of Potential Private Sector Solutions to Mitigate Foreclosures in Nevada." To see some highlight of the field hearing, click here.
With Nevada having suffered the most from the ongoing housing and foreclosure crisis, please be assured that I will continue to be involved in this issue, and will work with my colleagues to ensure that homeowners are made aware of their options and have the assistance they need to keep them in their homes. Additionally, if you or someone you know needs immediate assistance with a housing issue, please contact my Las Vegas district office at (702) 387-4941, where my staff is available to help.