Using TARP Funds to Help Families Stay in Their Homes (Rep. Dina Titus)

During this economic recession, every sector of the economy has been hit hard, but nowhere has the damage done more to hurt America’s families than in the housing sector. Attaining the goal of homeownership has been the American Dream for generations, yet in my state of Nevada alone, there will be an estimated 72,000 foreclosures this year, while nearly 60 percent of homes in Las Vegas are in negative equity.

Stemming the tide of foreclosures and turning the housing market around are critical to ending this recession and restoring economic growth and security. While Congress and the Administration have taken important steps to help struggling homeowners stay in their home, more must be done. With funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program expected to be returned to the Treasury soon, I have encouraged Treasury Secretary Geithner to use TARP funds to help families stay in their home.

The majority of families who are now at risk of losing their home played by the rules and were responsible in the debt they took on. But they have recently seen the value of their house plummet as their income has simultaneously decreased during this tough economic time. Using TARP funds to help homeowners, especially those who are more than 105 percent underwater, will keep people in their homes, stabilize the housing market, and help bring an end to the housing crisis. The downturn in housing prices is not only affecting those who have recently bought, but has also hurt those who have been in their homes since long before this crisis began as they have seen the value of their homes plummet.