JAN 29, 2014 5:06pm ET

Community Developers Call on President to Make AH ‘A Reachable Rung’

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Following President Obama's State of the union address, Frank Woodruff, director of the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, is urging his administration "to work with newly appointed FHFA director Mel Watt and make stable, affordable homes a reachable rung on the ladder of opportunity."

Practitioners and affordable housing advocates who work at the neighborhood level to advance community prosperity praise "Obama's focus on opportunity inequity in his State of the Union address," but these statements will be validated only by his "willingness to act independently of Congress to improve the lives of lower-income Americans," Woodruff notes in a statement.

NACEDA commends the president's call for Congress "to take up housing finance reform this session," and also sees opportunities for the administration "to address the disparate impact of the foreclosure crisis right away" and advance new home opportunity.

For example, the Federal Housing Finance Agency "can take unilateral steps today to allow principal reduction on loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, require housing counseling," he notes, or mandate the GSEs’ obligation "to contribute to the National Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund."

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