President Obama, in Phoenix, Announces Plan to Help Homebuyers

President Obama made another trip to Phoenix today, and as is usually the case when he's in town, the president announced a plan to help homeowners.

This time, Obama announced a reduction in fees for homebuyers with loans backed by the Federal Housing Authorities. FHA loans are common for homebuyers who can't come up with the down payment for a conventional mortgage loan.

"Today, here in Phoenix, I'm going to take a new action to help even more responsible families stake their claim on the middle class and buy their first new home," Obama said. "Starting this month, the Federal Housing Authority will lower its mortgage insurance premium rates enough to save the average new borrower more than $900 a year."

Obama pointed out that this could amount to an entire monthly mortgage payment for some families.

As mentioned, Obama's visits to Phoenix tend to center on housing.

In 2009, the president came to Mesa to address his policies to address the mortgage crisis. That included the creation of a "Hardest Hit" fund to keep struggling homeowners from being subject to foreclosure. Obama today touted the program as a success, although it was reported earlier this year that the state had a horrible record of distributing these funds.

Last year, Obama came to Phoenix to outline his plans for giving relief to middle-class homeowners, and today's announcement was along the same lines.

Obama said his policies have been effective, pointing to foreclosure rates being at their lowest points in about a decade, and home sales being 50 percent above where they were in the depths of the housing crisis.

"This progress is not an accident, it is not luck -- this is what happens when you have policies that put middle-class families first," he said.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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