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MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 17, 2012

Thousands Demand Presidential Candidates Address Housing Crisis

More than 35,000 postcards delivered to Obama and Romney campaign headquarters


READ ALSO: ABC News interviews NCLR's Janis Bowdler on why the presidential candidates and moderators haven't debated the topic of homeownership

New York, NY— On the morning of the second Presidential debate, the Home for Good Campaign delivered more than 35,000 signed postcards today to the Chicago, Ill. campaign headquarters of President Barack Obama and to the Boston, Mass. campaign headquarters of former Gov. Mitt Romney, demanding an end to needless foreclosures, expansion of affordable rental housing, and a sustainable path forward for homeownership. To date, neither candidate has made housing, homeownership, or foreclosures a top campaign issue.

“With less than one month left until Election Day, voters are looking to both President Obama and Gov. Romney for solutions that foster successful homeownership, prosperous communities and equal housing opportunity for all,” said Alan Jenkins, executive director of The Opportunity Agenda, a public interest organization and a partner in the Home for Good campaign. “In tonight’s debate, the American people deserve to hear from each of the candidates what specific plans they would pursue to ensure that families need no longer live in fear of foreclosure on their home.”

During the first Presidential debate, both President Obama and Gov. Romney made no mention of how they would solve America’s continuing housing crisis with millions of homeowners still underwater. Instead, Gov. Romney promised to “repeal and replace” the consumer protections ushered in by the Dodd-Frank legislation. And, while President Obama has created the Consumer Financial Protection Board, initiated the Making Home Affordable program, expanded housing counseling, and joined 49 state attorneys general in a national mortgage settlement with five major banks, these programs have yet to reach the millions of homeowners who could and should benefit from such assistance.

“Abuse by banks and the financial industry, inadequate consumer protections, and massive long-term unemployment caused the mortgage and homeownership crisis, continue to plague a huge swath of the US public, and hold back our economy,” added Jenkins. “The candidates’ silence on these issues is as politically shortsighted as it is morally appalling.”

Three of the eight states with the highest foreclosure rates are presidential battlegrounds: Florida, Ohio, and Nevada. In Florida there were 27,000 new foreclosure filings in August alone—one out of every 328 homes in the state. According to market research firm CoreLogic, more than 3.7 million homes have been lost to foreclosure in the past four years.

“The housing crisis has harmed millions of American voters and their families,” said James Carr, Senior Policy Fellow with The Opportunity Agenda’s Home Opportunity Initiative, which advocates for affordable housing under fair and sustainable terms. “Restoring successful homeownership as a pathway to opportunity and American prosperity is in our national interest. It serves us all to protect homeownership as a means of building a future for ourselves and our families.”

The postcard delivery was organized by Home for Good in conjunction with The Opportunity Agenda, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National CAPACD, National Urban League, Kirwan Institute, Center for Responsible Lending and the National Fair Housing Alliance. Home for Good is an alliance of people from across America that promotes solutions to the nation's housing crisis and advocates for access to affordable housing under fair and sustainable terms.

For more information, please visit http://opportunityagenda.org/home_opportunity.

Contact:
Emily Flynn
(202) 448-5208
eflynn [at] podesta [dot] com

About The Opportunity Agenda:
The Opportunity Agenda launched in 2006 with the mission of building the national will to expand opportunity in America. Through active partnerships, The Opportunity Agenda synthesizes and translates research on barriers to opportunity and corresponding solutions; uses communications and media to understand and influence public opinion; and identifies and advocates for policies that improve people’s lives. For more information, please visit www.opportunityagenda.org