On May 1 President Obama announced his intention to nominate Congressman Mel Watt of North Carolina to oversee the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the federal body that controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Congressman Watt has a long history of promoting economic opportunity, demanding fair rules, and opposing predatory lending practices.
The President’s decision is a victory for American homeowners, taxpayers, and our economic recovery. It is also a victory for Home for Good Campaign and the wide coalition of housing, consumer, and civil rights groups who have been calling on the White House to “Dump DeMarco and Hire a Hero.”
Now is an important time to praise the President’s decision and to call for Congressman Watt’s swift confirmation by the Senate. It’s also an important opening to elevate Home Opportunity issues in the public debate and to promote concrete solutions—including mortgage principal correction—that can prevent needless foreclosures, protect fair housing and lending, restore communities, and get our economy back on track.
To help you communicate those messages effectively, The Opportunity Agenda has prepared:
- A Message Memo on Home Opportunity, principal correction, and addressing “Moral Hazard” arguments.
- A Fact Sheet on the role that racial and ethnic discrimination and inadequate equal opportunity enforcement played in creating the Foreclosure and Economic Crisis.
- The Compact for Home Opportunity, which offers more than two dozen concrete solutions for addressing the crisis, including making principal correction available for loans held by Fannie and Freddie. Our recent Status Report on the Compact, Progress and Peril, reports meaningful progress, but also major steps remaining, with replacing Ed DeMarco as among the most important.
As we congratulate President Obama on this important decision, join us in calling for further action to create greater and more equal Home Opportunity for all.
Watch our Distinguished Scholar Jim Carr discuss on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to oversee the FHFA and replace Edward DeMarco. He was joined by Former New York Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW to watch video (embedded video available soon)