ABC Digital Report: President Obama: Homeownership

President Obama pushes homeownership, speaking in Phoenix.
35:02 | 08/06/13

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Transcript for ABC Digital Report: President Obama: Homeownership
-- -- -- for new York and this is an ABC news digital special report President Obama is delivering his fifth speech on the economy today. It is in Phoenix Arizona let's take a listen. So few weeks I've been visiting towns all across the country. Talking about what we need to do. To secure a better bargain for the middle class. On national strategy to make sure that everybody who works hard at the chance to succeed him 20% 3COM. I think people in Arizona especially understand the challenges that are out there because. Go for the passport add years together we fought our way back from. A devastating recession the cost millions of jobs for Americans. It's a lot of folks lost their homes lot of folks lost their savings. And what the recession showed was that the long erosion. A middle class security that have been taking place for decades. But we fought back. We took. On a broken health care system we took on a housing market that was in free fall we invested in new technologies to reverse our addiction a -- -- We changed to tax code that have become. Tilted a little bit too much in favor of the wealthiest Americans at the expense of working -- We say the auto industry we've now got GM. The plans to -- up. The new workers right next door in Chandler to make sure we're building some of the best cars in the world. Right here in the United States. Our businesses have created seven point three million new jobs over the past 41 months. We now sell more products made in America. To the rest of the world than ever before our exports are way out. We produce more renewable energy than ever before. More natural gas than anybody else. Health care costs have been growing of the slowest rate in fifty years and our deficits are -- doubt that this Rick. In sixty years. So thanks to the efforts of a lot of people like you. We cleared away the rubble of the financial crisis. We're starting to lay the foundation for more stable. More durable economic growth. But as any middle class family tell you were not yet where we need debate. Because even before the crisis yet we have lived through a decade where. A few of the top we're doing better and better. But most families were working harder and harder just to get but. And reversing this trend should be must be Washington's highest priority. It's my highest per hour. I want to make sure that if America. What you look like where you come from -- we love. Usually -- the -- when you try. Unfortunately for the last year -- -- We better. Operated distractions and political posturing and phony scandals that shift focus away from what do we need to do to assure. Middle class families and -- ladders of opportunity for banks to get in the middle class. And as Washington heads towards another budget debate the stakes could not be higher. And that's why I'm I'm -- traveling around laying out my ideas for how we have to build. The cornerstone of what it means to be middle class. A good job -- good wages. Home to call -- wrong. A good education. Affordable health care that this airport when -- get -- A secure retirement even if you're not rich. The opportunity the ladders of opportunity for people to earn. Their way into the middle class. To get to work -- way out of poverty. Those both -- -- those elements that I think all of us believe that but right now. We're not -- As much as we -- on those promises. Last Tuesday I want to Tennessee to talk about first -- -- which is. We make sure -- -- creating good middle class jobs here in the United States of America. Today I've come to Phoenix to talk about the second component which is the most tangible. Tangible cornerstone. That lies the heart of the American career at the heart of middle class life and that's the chance to own your own home. The -- I don't know. It clear. -- cool. Are thinking about college. You know they're gonna get a higher education they're gonna -- the job they're gonna find some -- -- -- they're gonna wanna own a home. And and the reason they will is because. A home is the ultimate evidence that here in America hard work pays off. That responsibility is -- war. You know I think about my grandparents' generation when my grandfather. Served in World War II -- Bob -- -- when he got. This country gave him a chance to go to college on the GI bill. But it also gave him the chance to -- first home with a loan from the F paycheck. To him. And -- generations of Americans before and sets. A homeless more than just a house it was a source of pride. And a source of security as a place to raise kids to put down roots a -- where you could build up savings for college -- to start a business. -- to retire with some secure. And buying a home -- responsibility on everybody's part. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And -- banks were supposed to give you a fair to get. With terms you could understand buyers were supposed to live within their means -- make sure they could make their payments. So in the matter earlier generation. How it weren't for flip it around. Grew up for speculation houses -- event. And -- life would. And unfortunately overtime responsibility. Too often gave way to records. You have reckless drivers. Who sold loans to people who may know put -- border. And let's face it we also -- -- records buyers who knew they couldn't afford and still took out loans. And all this created a housing bubble. And especially in some places like Arizona. It was devastating when that bubble finally burst. Triggered a recession millions of Americans we've done everything right. Were hurt badly by the actions of other people. Housing prices plummeted by the time I took office home values have fallen almost 40%. From the year before. New housing starts have fallen nearly 80% from the big. Hundreds of thousands of construction workers have lost their jobs a record number of people were behind on the mortgage payments. And you know a lot of people here minutes. -- they saw that devastation. Business was part of ground zero for the -- for the housing bubble burst. So less than a month after I took office I came here to Arizona. And I laid out steps to stabilize the housing market and help responsible. -- get back on their feet. And the -- visit has been a long slow process. How the market so Mary. That. It was gonna take some time to heal when he got hurt that bad. It's taken longer than any of us would like. But during that time we help millions of Americans save an average of 3000 dollars each year by refinancing at lower rates. We helped millions of responsible homeowners stay in their homes. Which was good for -- neighbors because you don't want a budget foreclosures sons in your neighborhood. -- congress wouldn't act we -- -- have acted so over the past few years. We have the Department of Justice stand up for buyers who have been discriminated against or -- by predatory lending. And we won. A settlement. -- that gave more money to victims of discrimination. In one year than in the previous 43 years combined. We work with states to force big banks. We work -- to force big. Thanks to repay more than fifty billion dollars to more than one point five million families. Largest -- settlement in history. We extended the time but the folks who lost their jobs could. Delay -- payment on their mortgages while they kept looking for work. -- -- Practices that led to prices let the crisis in the first place. -- you have you have some loans back back burner bubble there were called liars loans. Now some -- the liars wrong is probably a bad idea. So because all these actions we've been taking our housing market. Is beginning to heal me. Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in seven years. Sales are up nearly 50%. Construction is up nearly 75%. New foreclosures. Are down by nearly two thirds millions of -- Planes have been able to come up for care. And just like the crisis -- Phoenix very harder. Thanks to some great leadership. Here locally in Phoenix is also -- one of the biggest comebacks in the cup. Risen by nearly 20% over the last year. New home sales are up by more than 2.5 percent. This morning guy -- parking here I visited -- construction. And there were explaining how. Right when the bubble. Get. -- -- shrank -- to less than a hundred workers. Today they're employing. 580. People and their hiring even more people. So that's one of the things about how things not just important for the -- owns -- house. Our economy is so impacted by everything that happens in house. Consumers feel better -- home values are a better place. So they're more willing to spend. A lot of people who want to start a business their savings may be locked up in their house. -- construction workers. Contract us. Suppliers. Carpet makers call these folks are impacted by the housing industry. So we make progress and that's helped to move the economy for. But we've got to build on this progress we're not where we need to be yet we got to get more hardworking Americans the chance to buy their first home. We have to help. We have to help. More responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages because a lot of home. Still have a spread between the rates they're paying right amount of mortgage and what they could be getting it if they were able to refinance. And and we've got to turn the page on this kind of bubble and bust mentality that helped to create this mess in the first place we got to build up housing system that is. -- responsible. For generations to come. -- -- bunch of ideas that will help accomplish that and you know look fact of the matter is congress has -- developments -- like you to encourage. Members of congress to to. Take some of these actions. Are. But like like the other actions that we've taken. These will not help the neighbors down the street who bought a house that they couldn't afford and then walked away from it left foreclosed home behind. We don't want to help speculators who bought multiple homes just to make -- quick buck. What we want to do is put forward ideas that will help millions of responsible. Middle class homeowners who still need relief. And we want to help hardworking Americans who dream of owning their own home fair and swear have a down payment are willing to make those payments. Understand that owning a home requires responsibility. And there -- some immediate actions we could take right now that would help on that front that would make a difference so let me just last couple of number one. Congress should pass a good bipartisan idea. To allow every homeowner the chance to save thousands of dollars a year by refinancing their mortgage at today's rates we need to get that done. We've been talking -- For years. Three years there's no reason not to -- Number -- Now that we've made it harder and harder for reckless buyers to buy homes the -- can't afford. Let's let a little bit easier for qualified buyers to buy the homes -- they can't. Little. It has been working with the the finance industry. To make sure we're simplifying overlapping regulations were cutting -- to not take. For responsible families who want to get a mortgage but keeper getting rejected by the banks. We need to give well qualified Americans who lost their jobs during the crisis a fair chance to get a -- if they've worked hard to repair their credit. And stepped Fleury. Is something you'd always hear about when it comes to the -- mark. And that is fixing our broken immigration system. It's pretty simple what. When more people buy homes and play by the rules home values grow forever but. And according to one recent study the average homeowner has already seen the value of their home boosted by thousands of dollars just because of immigration. And the good news is -- your senators John McCain and Jeff flake. The senate has already passed a bipartisan immigration bill it's got supported CEOs and labor -- long. I want to encourage. Republicans in the House of Representatives. To stop. A drag their -- what's going to get this done. Step number coal. We should address the uneven recovery. By rebuilding the communities hit hardest by the housing crisis including many right here -- -- Let's put construction backed construction workers back to work -- right. Holmes turned out vacant properties so that the value of homes in those surrounding areas start picking up. We can put people who work right now can't improve. That's out there. Places that are that are facing -- a longer road back from the the crisis should have their countries now. To get back on their -- Step by. We should make sure families that don't want to buy a home or can't yet afford to buy -- still have a decent place to rent. You know we it's important for us. It's important for -- to encourage homeownership but a lot of people -- and you're welcome won't -- and we got to make sure that we are creating. Affordable opportunities. When it comes to rental properties. In the run up to the crisis banks and governments too often made everybody feel like they had don't know home even if they weren't ready and it happens. That's a mistake we should not repeat. Instead let's invest in affordable rental housing. Let's bring together cities and states to address local bears would drive up rents for working -- So. -- refinance their homes. If we help qualified families get a mortgage. We reform our immigration system. We rebuild the hardest hit communities. We make sure. That folks have a decent place to rent if there are not yet able to -- All these steps will give more middle class families the chance to either buy their own home now or eventually buy their own home. It's gonna give more will lead to responsible homeowners. It gives more options to families who aren't yet ready to buy. It's all that's -- improve the housing market and will improve the economy. Spot. In the business the last people what I want to make. As home prices rise we can't just re inflate another housing bubble. -- running over her body here in Arizona learned. Some some hard lessons from one that. Housing prices generally don't just keep on -- forever that the kind of pace it was going up -- crazy. So so what we want to do is is something stable and steady. And that's why -- -- -- lay a rock solid foundation make sure the kind of crisis we went through. Never happens again. Thanks to make sure nothing. And is to wind -- these companies. That are not really government. But not really private sector there -- known as Freddie. Mac and Fannie met. You know for too long these companies were allowed to make huge profits buying mortgages. Knowing that -- -- -- went back. Taxpayers would be left holding the -- It was heads we win tails you lose. And it was wrong. And along -- what happened on Wall Street it helped it inflate this bubble in a way that ultimately killed mainstream. So the good news is right now there is a bipartisan group of senators working to and Fannie and Freddie as we know. And I support these kinds of reform efforts. And and they're following four core principles. For what I believe this reform should look like. First private capital should take a bigger role in the mortgage market. I don't sounds confusing to folks who would call me -- socialist I think that's awesome posters -- on the in the free market and then just like the health care law. That would put in place Obama care. Which by the way if you don't have health insurance. We're buying it at exorbitant rates on the individual market starting on October 1 you can join a marketplace. And be part of a pool that gives you much lower premiums saves you a lot of money. We did what health -- wants to set clear rules for insurance companies to protect consumers make it more affordable. But still built on the private marketplace. I believe that our housing system. Should operate where there's a limited government role and private lending should be the backbone. Of the housing -- that includes by the way community based -- Who view their borrowers not just as the number but as a neighbor. So that's one principle -- second principle is we can't leave taxpayers on the hook for irresponsibility are bad decisions by that. Some of these lenders horse or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. We've got there first the pursuit of profit but the error -- expecting a -- After you pursue your profit. And you know. Manager -- well well that puts the whole country at risk and we're ending those days when -- -- Plentiful as we should help preserve access to safe and simple. -- mortgage products like the thirty year fixed rate mortgage that's something. Families should be able to rely on. When they're making the most important purchase them. Before -- gotta keep housing affordable for first time buyers like all these young people when they're rated buyouts. We -- make sure it's affordable. Families who -- working to climb -- -- in the middle class we've got to do what we can to make. Housing affordable and that means we got to strengthen the FHA so what gives today's families the same kind of chance -- gave my grandparents. To my home. And -- preserves those -- On the ladder of opportunity. And we've got to support as I said affordable rental housing. And by the way we've also got to keep up our fight against homelessness you know the mayor Vincent. I could drop as we help bring one. In four homeless veterans. Off the streets. Thanks the hard work -- want them. Mayor stands local united -- US Airways. You're on track to end chronic homelessness for veterans. Period by 2014. And we've got to keep going. Because nobody in America and certainly no better. Should be left to live on the streets. Put all these principles together. That's -- to protect our entire economy. It'll improve the housing market not just here in Phoenix but throughout the state throughout the country. We're also that are need to make sure -- we're protecting individual homeowners we got to give them the tools that they can protect themselves. So we've got a consumer finance protection bureau that we created. -- -- The road. That everybody can count on when they're shopping for a mortgage they're designing a new simple mortgage form that will be in plain English. So you can actually read it. Without a lawyer. Although you may still -- -- not. I'm not saying you know I'm just saying you'll be able to -- of -- -- friend. That -- you know old before -- -- -- percent of the confirmed. Richard Cordray is the head of this. Aggressively protecting consumers and homeowners. Now when it comes through some of the other leaders we need to look out for the American people this still -- -- job do. Months ago -- nominated a man named Mel Watt to be our nation's top housing regulator. He is an outstanding. Member of congress. During that time he's on the house. Housing committee worked with -- -- work with borrowers to protect consumers to help responsible lenders provide credit he -- the right person for the job. Congress and the senate should give his nomination an up or down vote without any more obstruction or collect. We're -- -- program -- policy. Is going to solve all the problems. In a multi trillion dollar housing market. The housing bubble. Went up so -- That the heights it reached before -- were so unsustainable that we knew it was going to take some time for us to fully recover. But if we take the steps that I talked about today. Then. I know we will restore not just our home values but also our common values. We'll make owning a home a symbol of responsibility. Not speculation. A source of secure. For generations to come just like it was my grandparents. I want I want to be just like pepper all the young people we're here today. And their children and their grandchildren. And if we stay focused on the middle class security and opportunities to get into the middle class if we take -- strategy. Laying out for the entire economy for jobs and housing and education health care retirement. Creating ladders of opportunity. -- we will secure that better bargain. For all Americans were hard work is once again rewarded. With a shot in the middle class life. Which means more Americans won't know the pride of that first picture. More Americans will know the satisfaction of flipping the -- opened on their own business. More Americans won't know the joy it. A -- in the child's height on the -- of the new wrong with a pencil of course. We can do all of us if we work together. And -- won't be using. But if we take just a few bold steps and if Washington won't just end the gridlock set aside -- slash -- -- -- Trying to call. Grown stronger. The crowd in Phoenix Arizona -- listened to the president's making his fifth economic speech in the past we'll. Week's focus today home ownership. There are bigger decisions -- -- public -- debates. How important parts outlet that's -- means aside from that through your things we're joined from -- Then by ABC news political director Rick Klein and here in New York ABC's jets felony. Gentlemen thanks for being with us and -- -- -- start with you what was the president trying to accomplish today with that speech. Two main goals then one is something a victory lap the housing market has recovered as he was happy to point out there and I think he wanted to be able to point to that is a sign of recovery. The second is that to prod congress and bring a few new proposals mostly knew what old ones that are being repackaged to act on making easier to refinance mortgages. Also the phase out that that Freddie. And -- programs which insure mortgages he says that's one thing that fed the ball the last time around he led to support here to a bipartisan effort going on right now in the senate. That would get rid of those entities for most intents and purposes. And therefore leave the private market to regulate itself the idea that you don't have -- the -- out there underwriting all mortgages and sticking taxpayers with the bill. If they don't pay for themselves so the president I think knows that this is a key thing for a lot of Americans are beginning to see decides recovery in the housing market there's also. A little bit of anxiety there that it may not last and that -- we are quite where we were before -- -- -- let me ask you this -- -- -- -- -- to -- -- down but really what are the odds that the president's -- -- winding down Fannie and -- will actually -- congress. He's got some bipartisan supporters on this so it could be that this is -- that the boost momentum that you need. Question is whether this actually filters down to most homeowners and isn't the kind of fixed as he's the first to say that that fixes everything. In the housing market and is -- a long ways away from getting rid of all of the obstacles out there to homeownership. He -- a lot of those things need to get broken down and I'll tell you one of the big frustrations inside the White -- is -- failure to be able to deal with the housing crisis more effectively. Help more actual homeowners. You know that there's ways that you can help banks is -- there's ways that help businesses but actually getting those banks to refinance mortgages actually getting people who are under water on those mortgages. Back on their -- actually getting more people who are subject to stricter income requirements into homes for the first time those are very hard things the federal government to do. So the thirty year mortgage which essentially is certainly something that's very unique -- the United States and as far as like it -- in what compared to other countries throughout the world but just what to bring into this. Where is this bipartisan -- being drawn in this battle within congress. Republicans essentially are trying to get congress and the government out of the mortgage business that is their hope here with us but. The White House and a bipartisan group of senators believe that there should be a little bit more support -- they shouldn't leave especially for first time homebuyers. This I totally to the market here so from I think we'll probably end up somewhere. In the middle on this here but to -- right a thirty year mortgages sort of unique but that is the pathway to homeownership the pathway to a lot of what the president was talking better today but that. The house Republicans are looking for -- and -- a pure bill here in that would essentially get the government out of the mortgage business altogether and not likely to happen entirely. And justify the matter is that the president to set himself there that he wants to get more private capital involved in the market. Making a bit of -- jokes and despite the fact that he gets criticism and sometimes called socialists the fact that he does believe any capitalistic. System. So why is -- that some house Republicans are on board with that plan. I thought it was interesting that you can tell that this is a man who's not running for reelection again he actually. Made fun of made a joke of some signs on the way and he said calling him a socialist that's not something we -- bring up when he was actually. I'm running for election so more relaxed president -- Look a lot of it is just different to philosophy a lot of those house Republicans -- -- -- of Texas Republican of Texas leading the charge here. He is saying that that he believes the government Fannie Freddie should be out of this entirely there shouldn't be a safety net. The argument basically boils down to -- safety net here a lot of Democrats. In which is their philosophy of government believe that there should be more the support system should they need it. Rick let me ask you this and the president tried to -- incorporate the issue of immigration into this speech any chance -- that that argument. Is gonna help move the debate in that in that area -- and that subject. I don't -- that it does have a that was an interesting addition alleged picked up on a -- but I don't think that. In bringing housing -- immigration has -- in the immigration any easier to pass we know where the battle lines were the fault lines are. In that right now in the house representatives and -- -- involves the housing market it doesn't involve the ability of people in homes doesn't. Involved even that directly the full economy so I think immigration is gonna play out its own. President you you heard him bring in bring that in from the outside as he -- a few other issues as well including infrastructure investments. I don't think there's going to be a change any appetite in the Republican led house on that as a result of the president's things that I know what about the -- something he outlined today is -- did you hear anything new that hasn't been put up before from the White House. I think a little more specific support for the Fannie Freddie plan that's been developing right now in the senate that's probably the biggest headline out of this but no this is mostly repackaged. And again they've announced programs in the past the question -- always been have a filters down to -- and it into an actual homeowner. Jeff into a broader point to the president's speech today really about responsibility the buyers and sellers of -- in the housing market where's the president's Spanish sparse. How does that cause. Conflict with Republicans in congress as far as his support for responsibility. Many -- -- -- is about responsibility ministry said earlier it is more of a victory that this is a president who's trying to take a little bit of credit for in the economy improving a little bit he is trying to drop. A few fault lines here by. They're saying that you know the economy he's trying to remind Americans that things are improving a little bit of course it's still very difficult to. You know for a lot of Americans for millions Americans to buy these homes which is why I thought it was interesting. He also said look if you can't afford to buy hats. House -- you can rent we to make rentals more -- well but. We'll give you talk to Republicans to get their side of the argument here they certainly want the economy to be doing while they certainly. You believe in the ownership society but they just believe that government should -- -- Out of the way here so you know not all that much of the new. Kind of discussion here is sort of -- warmed over. Summertime debate but this is the president taking things on the road. And really one -- his side top reasons for heading out west at all he's appearing with Jay Leno tonight he is you're -- make his case there are so president have to give speeches that's what he's doing today. But I wouldn't say this is exactly the top of his agenda. All right Andy Richter won't let you go I want to ask you about this -- I picked up on this line. The president is saying no with Oreo talking about reading the fine print in some of the mortgages that he's trying to alleviate any kind of legal background a -- required to understand exactly the terms of your agreements. Yet good luck with that -- -- -- maybe -- skeptical among this is someone has tried to -- credit card statements not to mention mortgage statements in the past -- have a way of a -- pretty complicated and one of the big goals of -- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is to try to weed these things out to me things. It's a more plain English to give people a sense of what's out there but the fact is I think when you sign a mortgage even under present -- -- ideal plan you're gonna still -- A pretty tired hand by the end of it. Pull -- the magnifying glass -- Washington DC thank you so much Jeff Zahn in New York gentlemen thank you so much for your time this afternoon. For a full recap check -- BC for now though I'm Dan -- -- with this ABC news digital special report. This has been a special group. Report from me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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