Thursday, March 5, 2009

A letter From Dianne Feinstein

I got an email response from Dianne Feinstein regarding a letter I sent about the current housing market.
Here it is -
Dear Mrs. McCarthy:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for including housing market reforms and foreclosure prevention measures in the recently enacted economic recovery bill. I certainly appreciate hearing your suggestions and would like to share with you what was included in the final version of this legislation.

Like you, I am extremely concerned about this severe economic crisis, which has been caused in part by the declining housing market. Last year, there were 837,665 foreclosures filed in California alone, an increase of more than 100 percent over 2007.

As you know, on February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1) into law. This important legislation represents a significant investment by the Federal Government in an effort to create jobs and improve our Nation's aging infrastructure. The bill also makes a major commitment to stabilizing the housing market and assisting hardworking Americans. Specifically, the bill will:

oAllow first-time homebuyers to receive a tax credit worth up to $8,000 for homes purchased after January 1, 2009. Recipients of this credit will not have to repay it.

oProvide the Public Housing Capital Fund with $4 billion to help local public housing agencies address a $32 billion backlog in capital needs.

oProvide the HOME Investment fund with $2.25 billion for state and local governments to acquire, construct, and rehabilitate affordable housing.

oInvest $2 billion in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to allow state and local governments to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed properties to reduce blight in communities.

You may be interested to learn that I joined Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) in introducing an amendment to the Senate-version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that would have extended the $729,750 maximum conforming loan limits through 2010. However, this amendment was not included in the final version of the bill passed by the Senate.

It is critical that Congress work with the new Administration to restore the American dream of home ownership and this bill is part of that effort. Please know that I will keep your comments and suggestions in mind should further legislation to address our country's housing crisis come before the Senate.

Once again, thank you for writing. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein United States Senator

Well thank you Dianne Feinstein for your response.
Now here's what I think
First of all the $8000 tax credit won't help very many people because the maximum income cap is $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married filers.
In San Diego where the average price of a home is around $400,000, a single would have to make around $76,000 a year with no debt; car payments , credit cards, etc... in order to qualify for a loan.
How about the $4 billion to help a $32 billion backlog of Public Housing funds. Better than nothing but ....
I grouped the Home Investment fund and Neighborhood Housing fund together because they're essentially the same thing and once again $4.25 billion is of course better than nothing.
Up front all these Obama programs look and sound so nice; money for everyone who needs it and maybe more later, but where is the money coming from? Diane writes ," this important program represents a significant investment by the Federal Government...", aren't WE the government? So the people who are behind on their payments, losing their jobs and business are going to be taxed to provide programs to restore America. Now that really is a new deal and a new direction.

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