News / USA

Obama Warns Against Re-inflating Housing Bubble

President Barack Obama is seen on a phone camera as he greets the crowd after speaking in Phoenix, Arizona, Aug. 6, 2013.
President Barack Obama is seen on a phone camera as he greets the crowd after speaking in Phoenix, Arizona, Aug. 6, 2013.
In his latest speech on the U.S. economy, President Barack Obama has outlined steps he says need to be taken to strengthen the U.S. housing market.  

The president flew to Phoenix, which was among American cities that suffered the most from the housing market collapse of 2009, to deliver his latest speech on the economy and his proposals to help extend recovery and help the middle class.

At the beginning of his presidency,  Obama made a speech in Phoenix focusing on the bursting of the real estate "bubble."

On Tuesday he said the housing market is "beginning to heal" with home prices rising the fastest in 7 years, sales and construction up and foreclosures down by two-thirds.

Obama told an audience at a high school that despite steps his administration took, Americans still need more help refinancing their mortgages, and overall the housing system needs more reform.

"We have got to turn the page on this kind of bubble-and-bust mentality that helped to create this mess in the first place, we have got to build a housing system that’s durable and fair and rewards responsibility for generations to come.  That is what we have got to do," said President Obama.
 
Obama called on lawmakers to do more to help homeowners refinance at current rates, and urged simplification of regulations blocking qualified people from getting loans.

He said he supports efforts in Congress to wind down quasi-government institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, companies whose lending practices were at the heart of the housing collapse.

The companies, he said, "made huge profits buying mortgages knowing that taxpayers would ultimately be left "holding the bag" if loans went bad."  Such practices, and Wall Street's collapse, helped to "kill Main Street."

Fixing America's broken immigration system, Obama added, would help more people buy homes and increase values.  

Obama said "no program or policy will solve all the problems in a multi-trillion dollar housing market, but said steps he has outlined can restore stability and other things.

"If we take the steps I talked about today, then I know we will restore not just our home values, but also our common values.  We’ll make owning a home a symbol of responsibility, not speculation, a source of security for generations to come, just like it was for my grandparents, I want it to be just just like that for all the young people who are here today and their children and their grandchildren," said Obama.

Obama ended his speech in Phoenix with another call for an end to political gridlock in Washington and for lawmakers to set aside "slash-and-burn partisanship" to help the economy.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs