As the housing crisis continues to threaten communities throughout the nation, Susan has advocated for more robust federal action to help individuals and families cope.
Mortgages and Foreclosures
Thousands of homeowners locally and across the nation have either already lost their homes or face foreclosure as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis and other economic issues. Susan has supported legislation that would help at-risk homeowners refinance or modify their costly adjustable-rate or interest-only mortgages into more affordable fixed-rate loans. Since the modification process has proven to be very cumbersome, Susan introduced the Short Sale Transparency Act (H.R. 3164) which would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disclose the asking price on a short sale if they reject the first short sale offer made on a home. While short sales are sometimes not people’s first choice, this would give constituents the opportunity to avoid foreclosure and move on with their lives more quickly. There is no reason Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should leave you in the dark when you are trying to take responsibility for your mortgage.
In addition to her own legislation, the Congresswoman has written letters with her colleagues urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to support principal reduction as a way to stabilize and hasten the recovery of the housing market. To learn more about the administration’s current home loan modification program, HAMP, click here .
She has also written to the FHFA in support of expanding the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) so that more people can refinance to lower interest rates and to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) about it decision to close San Diego’s local HUD Field Office. For more information about HARP, click here. For more information about the upcoming changes to HUD click here.
She supports California’s $25 billion settlement with the country’s five largest loan servicers to rectify their systematic foreclosure abuses. To learn more about what this settlement means for you, click here. Another important action taken against mortgage servicers is the Independent Foreclosure Review. This order by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) requires that 14 mortgage servicers identify customers who were financially harmed during the foreclosure process between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. Please click here to get more information about how you may benefit.
As housing costs and availability have reached crisis levels, Susan has worked to defend affordable housing programs and increase the supply of housing units in San Diego. She has worked to get federal funding to our region to build housing units in low-income areas and to improve homeless shelters. She has been active in the fight to preserve and expand the Section 8 voucher program providing rental assistance to thousands of working families. She has consistently supported housing counseling agencies to keep people in homes they can afford and to assist them if they can no longer afford their mortgages.
Improving our Neighborhoods
Since coming to Congress, Susan has been an enthusiastic supporter of legislation on the House floor to bolster the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund (NAHTF) and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). Through the NAHTF, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is able to provide rental assistance to millions of Americans for whom a home is unaffordable and homelessness is too close to reality. CDBG funds are awarded to state and local groups to be used for everything from infrastructure improvements to affordable housing rehabilitation to preventing and eliminating blight.
Homes for Veterans
Susan has long been concerned with the increase in homeless veterans in San Diego and across the nation. Because of Susan’s advocacy on behalf of veterans, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) has provided 10,000 additional vouchers for homeless veterans each year since 2008. As a result, the homelessness among veterans has finally begun to decline. Click here to see the press release.
For active duty members of the military, Congresswoman Davis introduced bipartisan legislation with Representative Duncan Hunter called the Fairness for Military Homeowners Act. This bill was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2013 and allows military homeowners to refinance their mortgage on a principle residence while serving at a duty station that prevents them from occupying their home. Click here for to see the press release.
If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage and fear foreclosure, there are free organizations you can turn to for help and advice. Remember, you should never pay for housing counseling services or for home loan modifications. Please click here for more information about fraudulent loan modification scams.
HUD Housing Counseling Referral Line: (800) 569-4287. This service can refer you to housing counseling agencies near you so that you can meet with an individual about your housing needs or attend a housing workshop.
San Diego Community Housing Works: (619) 282-6647. This HUD-approved non-profit organization is designed to help people understand their housing options from affordable rental apartments to first-time homebuyer assistance.
Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline: (888) 995-HOPE. This HUD-approved organization funded by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation is designed to help homeowners work with their lenders to resolve their home loan issues. They work with you and your loan servicer to provide you with information and professional guidance twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
San Diego Housing Commission: (619) 231-9400. This agency administers the Section 8 program in the City of San Diego as well as other housing programs. They also rent affordable housing to qualified residents.
County of San Diego’s Housing & Community Development Department: (858) 694-4801. This county agency administers the Section 8 program in Coronado, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove and the unincorporated areas of San Diego County and other rental assistance.
Cal-Vet Home Loan San Diego Office: (619) 525-3700. The California Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan provides home loan financing for qualified active duty military and veterans.