Several players in the housing and
lending sectors found things to like in President Obama's State of the Union Speech
on Tuesday and issued statements supporting some of his proposals. MND has so far received statements from
the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the American Institute of
Architects (AIA) and the Center for American Progress (CAP).
Chairman Rick Judson said the
nation's home builders were very pleased to hear President Obama acknowledge the
extremely tight mortgage credit conditions that are hampering the housing
recovery and hurting job growth. "Building
100,000 homes creates 300,000 full-time jobs. With the right policies in place,
housing can continue to lead the economy forward," he said.
NAHB "stands ready to work with the
Administration, Congress and regulators to ease restrictive lending
requirements so that qualified home buyers can obtain affordable home loans and
to open up the lines of credit for home builders so they can meet growing
demand in communities across the nation."
AIA President Micke Jacob said "The AIA is
encouraged that the president discussed cutting energy use and creating jobs in
the process. In particular we are supportive of granting federal support to
states that come up with the best ideas to lower energy bills by constructing
more energy efficient buildings. This is
an issue that architects have championed, and we are prepared to help states
and anyone else
answer that challenge.
"Meanwhile, we call on the President and Congress to retain incentives that
allow small businesses to hire and which conserve energy in commercial and
Julia Gordon, CAP's Director of Housing Finance and Policy welcomed the
President's comments regarding the importance of assisting homeowners and his
support for additional refinancing programs. "Allowing more underwater homeowners to
refinance their mortgages at today's low rates will support the housing
recovery, provide much-needed financial relief to strapped homeowners, and
boost consumer demand, simultaneously strengthening the middle class and
stimulating economic growth."
"Furthermore, we agree with the president that mortgage regulations
governing lenders and securitizers should line up with each other to avoid
constraining access to affordable credit.
She also supported his call to rebuild hard-hit neighborhoods. "Effective loan modifications, particularly
principal reduction, can prevent home vacancies altogether, but in situations
where that is not possible, short sales or long-term lease arrangements can
help limit the damage to communities."