The crisis in the housing market has had a significant impact on Maryland homeowners–both those who are at risk of losing or who have already lost their homes, as well as those who have felt the spillover effect of declining home values. Aside from the record number of foreclosures, the Pew Charitable Trusts estimates that 61 percent of Maryland homeowners will see their home values decrease, with an average decline of $9,941.
In response to this crisis, this week the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3221, the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008. This legislation will allow homeowners facing foreclosure to refinance into lower-cost, government-insured mortgages they can afford to repay, keeping at least 400,000 families from losing their homes.
H.R. 3221 also provides $4 billion to enable cities and states to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed properties that are currently driving down home prices, destabilizing neighborhoods, and reducing state and local revenues. Additionally, the bill provides tax credits to stimulate home buying, expands homeownership opportunities for veterans and helps returning soldiers avoid foreclosure.
To further shore up the housing market, the bill would place a tough, independent new regulator in charge of the housing Government Sponsored Enterprises (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks) and makes assistance available – if necessary – to ensure the continued availability of affordable home loans.
If you are a homeowner struggling with or worried about foreclosure, you can receive counsel and assistance by calling the Maryland HOPE Hotline 1-877-462-7555.
Telephone Town Hall Meeting: Join me for my next telephone town hall meeting on Monday, July 28 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. where I will provide an update on what Congress is doing to stimulate the economy, provide relief from rising gas prices and address the problems in the housing market.To participate, dial (877) 229-8493 and enter pin number 12897 anytime during the hour-long meeting.
As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you. If there is anything you wish to share with me or bring to my attention, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Steny H. Hoyer
Hoyer Travels to Gulf Coast Region to Tour Recovery Progress, Meet with Regional Leaders As the third anniversary of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina nears, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer headed to the Gulf Coast Region this week for two days of tours and meetings with regional elected officials and other stakeholders in the rebuilding effort. Read news release
64,000 Maryland Minimum Wage Workers Receive Pay Raise on Thursday On July 24, approximately 64,000 Maryland workers received a 40 cent raise when the federal minimum wage increased to $6.55. The previous minimum wage in Maryland was $6.15.
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement after the House passed the Tom Lantos and Henry Hyde Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act with a strong bipartisan vote
Team Maryland Celebrates Enactment of Korean War Charter Bill
Maryland Members of Congress gathered Thursday with Korean War veterans in the U.S. Capitol to celebrate the newly enacted Charter and to commemorate the upcoming 55-year anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War on July 27, 1953.
Hoyer Statement on 18th Anniversary of Enactment of Americans with Disabilities Act Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, released a statement commemorating the 18th anniversary of this landmark legislation being signed into law on July 26, 1990. Read statement