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Rep. Maxine Waters in Fight to Save Housing Programs

By Tavis J. Hampton | March 17, 2011

"Whose side are you on?" is a question Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is asking a Republican-lead U.S. Congress that today voted to end the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), a government-sponsored initiative that would purchase and redevelop foreclosed and abandoned homes.

US Capitol

US Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

The homeowners, Congresswoman Waters argues, are not suddenly all better, no longer needing government programs such as the NSP, which President George W. Bush signed into law in three years ago. With unemployment rates still abysmal and foreclosures still occuring at an alarming rate, Waters today questioned whether the Republicans who voted against the NSP are working for the people or the corporations who are capitalizing at the people's expense.

"Republicans – just like Democrats – are hearing from constituents and communities that are really struggling, and yet they choose to kill these programs with no alternatives. It’s upsetting and it’s astonishing," expressed the Congresswoman.

In addition to the NSP, Congress also recently voted to cease the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Short Refinance Program and Emergency Homeowners Relief Program (EHRP), both of which Congresswoman Waters says they did not give time to fully mature and make an impact.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

At the end of March, Congress will take aim at the Home Affordible Modification Program (HAMP), which the Obama Administration implemented to help keep homeowners in their homes through loan modifications. As of yet, it is not clear if the plan is to replace these programs or simply let struggling homeowners sink.

"“Terminating HAMP without a credible and stronger alternative would be contrary to our goal of helping homeowners stay in their homes, despite some of the program's flaws."

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