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).

NAHB 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 government buildings.

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."