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Congresswoman Waters Applauds $1 Billion in Aid to Homeowners

October 7, 2010
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, welcomed the announcement today that $1 billion in funding will be distributed to help unemployed homeowners by providing emergency interest-free home loans.

Congresswoman Waters secured funding for the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP) during negotiations on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

"Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own should not have to lose their homes as well. I fought for funding for this program to help homeowners and communities across the country most impacted by foreclosures and housing market declines," said Congresswoman Waters.

EHLP will provide loans of up to $50,000 to eligible borrowers for up to two years to keep their homes out of foreclosure.  The program, which is being administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will assist homeowners in 32 states that did not receive funding from the Treasury Department's Innovation Fund for Hardest Hit Housing Markets program. Congresswoman Waters had negotiated with Treasury to secure $2 billion in funding for the "Hardest Hit" program.

Based on the severity of the housing market decline and high unemployment in California, the state already received funding through Treasury's program to rehabilitate foreclosed properties and place them back on the market for low- and moderate-income homeowners. In fact, California has been the biggest recipient of "Hardest Hit" funding, receiving a total of $1.176 billion.

"Since the recession started a couple of years ago, I have emphasized the need for Congress, the Administration and other policymakers to take steps to help homeowners, prevent foreclosures and assist neighborhoods that have been most severely impacted by the nation's housing crisis," said Congresswoman Waters.

Congresswoman Waters has been a leader in efforts to assist homeowners and prevent foreclosures.  She was responsible for creating the Neighborhood Stabilization Program – despite opposition by the Bush Administration -- which enables local governments and non-profits to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned properties and sell those homes to low- and moderate-income buyers.  In addition, she has introduced a number of bills addressing various aspects of the foreclosure crisis, including the Foreclosure Prevention and Sound Mortgage Servicing Act of 2009 (H.R. 3451), which would prohibit servicers from foreclosing without first offering loan modifications to borrowers.