Skip to main content

Obama to Unveil Housing Policy Updates in Thursday Speech

Phil Hall
Jan 06, 2015

President Obama plans to address the future of federal housing policy in a speech to be delivered on Thursday in Mesa, Ariz. According to a statement released by White House spokesperson Eric Schultz, the president will use his Jan. 8 speech at Dobson High School to “Spotlight how the recovering housing sector has helped restore wealth and economic security to millions of middle class families, and announce new steps to help more Americans achieve the American Dream of owning a home.”

This is the second time that the president used the Arizona high school as a setting for a housing policy speech–in February 2009, he first visited the location to outline his plans to address the aftermath of the housing bubble crash which included a $75 million program designed to address the foreclosure crisis. In August 2013, the president visited another Arizona high school, Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, for a speech relating to what the White House dubbed as “responsible homeownership.”

Housing policy has been a difficult subject for the Obama Administration. In its first term, the administration mostly avoided addressing the fate of the government-sponsored enterprises and it left the office of director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) vacant after its failure to advance North Carolina Commissioner of the Banks Joseph A. Smith Jr. to that position; Edward DeMarco ran the FHFA as an acting director for more than four years. In July 2011, Obama made a relatively rare admission of poor results when he admitted in a press conference that his loan modification programs were not working to their fullest, adding that he was “going back to the drawing board” to determine how they could be improved.

Into his second term, however, the president became more engaged on the subject of housing policy, wading into the debate on winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while changing the housing policy leadership line-up with the appointments of Mel Watt, a North Carolina congressman, to run the FHFA and Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The White House has not yet given a preview of the depth and scope of Thursday’s speech. White House spokesperson Schultz noted that the Arizona speech – along with a Wednesday speech in Detroit on manufacturing and the automotive industry and a Friday speech in Tennessee on Friday by Vice President Biden on job creation and education – should be seen as “a mix of executive actions and legislative proposals” being put forth by the White House in advance of the new Republican-controlled 114th Congress.

Jan 06, 2015
'A Long Road To Normal'

Nominated again to lead The Fed, Powell tells Senate committee to expect three rate hikes, but 'if we have to raise interest rates more over time, we will.'

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 11, 2022
CFPB: Complaint Response Worsens At Big 3 Credit Bureaus

Report claims Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion routinely failed to fully respond to consumers with errors.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 10, 2022
The Fed Names Chairs, Deputy Chairs For 12 Reserve Banks

In recent years, the Federal Reserve System has worked to increase the overall diversity of the Reserve Bank and branch boards of directors and continues to build on those efforts.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 06, 2022
The Fed: Rate Hike Likely Coming in June

Federal Open Market Committee's December minutes reveal discussion of first hike in federal funds rate in 2Q of 2022, as well as of ending asset purchases by March.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 05, 2022
AARMR No Protection For Savanah Scares

Conference provides opportunity for regulators to interact, discuss common topics

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 04, 2022
McCargo Sworn In As Ginnie Mae President

Former HUD official becomes the first female to lead the Government National Mortgage Association.

Regulation and Compliance
Jan 04, 2022