Will Co-Chair Congressional Panel Tackling Housing Crisis
March 1, 2011 – March 1, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (NV) and U.S. Congressman Dennis Cardoza (CA) today announced they would co-chair the Democratic Caucus Housing Stabilization Task Force in the 112th Congress. The two Members of Congress represent regions of the country – Las Vegas and California’s Central Valley – that have been ground zero for the housing crisis. The Task Force was first created in 2010 under the leadership of Berkley and Cardoza. This Congress, members of the task force will continue focusing on solutions to the nation’s residential housing crisis.
“Nevada has the highest foreclosure and unemployment rates in the country and the majority of homeowners are ‘underwater’ when it comes to their mortgages. That’s why there has never been a more critical time to focus on these housing issues and the ongoing foreclosure crisis that has swept states like Nevada and California. I look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Cardoza on this issue which has impacted the families and communities we represent. A strong recovery in the housing sector is essential to the economy of the Las Vegas Valley. We should explore every option and leave no stone unturned when looking for solutions to the foreclosure and housing crisis,” said Congresswoman Berkley.
“Our economy will never achieve a full, robust recovery if we fail to stabilize the housing market,” said Congressman Cardoza. “Congresswoman Berkley and I are committed to shining a bright spotlight on the deepening crisis that is devastating communities nationwide. The Housing Stabilization Task Force will be a forum for investigating effective, far-reaching solutions that will help the housing sector recover and keep more American families in their homes.”
This year, foreclosures are projected to reach a record high of more than two million, surpassing the number of foreclosures recorded last year. The Housing Stabilization Task Force will bring a renewed focus to housing issues and provide Members of Congress a forum where they can discuss ways to improve existing housing programs and examine new paths for dealing with the housing crisis. The Task Force will examine proposals from stakeholders around the country to develop a practical, tailored approach to each region’s unique issues.
During the last Congress, the Housing Stabilization Task Force hosted key roundtable discussions with the Administration’s top housing officials, hosted briefings with noted housing experts and economists, and issued a white paper on regional housing issues. These were vital steps in helping policy makers focus and develop practical approaches to aiding the nation’s distressed housing sector.
The Task Force found that the fundamental drivers to the declining housing market vary significantly from region to region. They recommended that the federal government should focus on empowering state and local governments to facilitate foreclosure relief efforts, so programs are well-targeted to the primary drivers of foreclosure in each region. To that end, the Task Force recommended that the Administration and Congress take immediate steps to expedite the implementation of state-designed Hardest Hit Fund programs.
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