From Sunlen Miller:
President Obama will wake up in Las Vegas this morning and will hold a town hall meeting in Henderson, Nevada.
After his town hall Mr. Obama will deliver remarks to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority where Gibbs says the president will, “talk specifically about ideas that he’s had both in December and at the State of the Union to continue to get our economy moving.
The president will announce administration plans to allocate $1.5 billion of TARP money toward funding state Housing Finance Authorities (HFAs) in the five states hardest hit by the housing crisis, ABC’s Yunji de Nies and Jon Garcia report.
HFAs in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan will have access to new money. Each of those states has seen home values decline by 20% or more, according a senior administration official, who spoke about the President’s announcement on background. The funds will not be allocated equally, but given out based on which states have the biggest need and whose HFAs can demonstrate they can use the money most effectively.
“Primary criteria will be price declines and unemployment,” the senior administration official said.
The White House believes HFAs are the best way to distribute the money, because unlike the federal government, the local agencies understand the specific needs of each community.
“They’re doing lots of different things, they’re deeply knowledge of the local markets,” the official explained, “And they’re up and running.”
Mr. Obama is slated to return to Washington, DC in the evening.