Mary Altaffer / AP
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 | 3 a.m.
On the eve of another visit to Nevada, ground zero for the nation’s housing crisis, President Barack Obama brought the nation’s housing market to the forefront of his weekly address.
Obama focused his address on the need for Congress to approve his housing market plan to assist “responsible homeowners” that he presented in February. The plan would allow those homeowners a chance at a lower rate, saving them about $3,000 a year.
“It’s a plan that has the support of independent, nonpartisan economists and leaders across the housing industry,” Obama said in his weekly address. “But Republicans in Congress worked to keep it from even getting to a vote. And here we are — seven months later — still waiting on Congress to act.”
Few states have been impacted more by the housing market crash than Nevada. A recent survey from RealtyTrac indicated that Nevada ranked as the fifth-worst state in the country for home foreclosures with 1 in 402 homes foreclosed upon as of August.
Obama explained that the housing market is starting to recover from the crash four years ago. He pointed to rising home prices, increased sales and home construction, and families whose homes are now worth more than their mortgages this year as signs of improvement.
But, he said, even with low mortgage rates, families need the help his plan would provide. He then called out Congress for its inaction and encouraged people to help make it a forefront issue when Congress reconvenes in November.
“The truth is, it’s going to take a while for our housing market to fully recover. But it’s going to take a lot more time — and cause a lot more hurt — if Congress keeps standing in the way,” Obama said. “If you agree with me, I hope you’ll make your voices heard.”
Obama will give a campaign speech in Las Vegas on Sunday before participating in a national debate against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Oct. 3. It will be Obama’s ninth visit to the swing state this year.