The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 26, 2008

Statement by the Press Secretary

As the housing market continues to transition, President Bush is helping responsible homeowners across America through a series of targeted actions. This past fall, he announced the creation of FHASecure - a program which gives HUD's Federal Housing Administration (FHA) greater flexibility to help Americans by offering more home mortgage financing and refinancing options. Today, the President was pleased to learn that over 100,000 Americans have turned to FHASecure to refinance their homes and avoid foreclosure since FHASecure was launched last fall. This program remains on track to help 300,000 Americans by the end of this calendar year.

Secretary Jackson and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have also worked with lenders, loan servicers, mortgage counselors and investors to establish a private-sector alliance called HOPE NOW. Since its formation, Alliance members have sent out one million letters to delinquent borrowers under the HOPE NOW banner and the 888-995-HOPE counseling hotline is now receiving more than 4,500 calls per day. Building on these efforts, the Alliance is implementing a plan that could help up to 1.2 million subprime homeowners avoid foreclosure over the next two years. FHA is also sending out letters to 850,000 homeowners who are facing an imminent reset to help them consider a safer, more affordable alternative with an FHA-backed loan.

Earlier this month, Congress and the Administration also worked expeditiously to pass the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, a robust economic growth package that is temporary and will put $152 billion into the hands of American individuals and businesses this year. When the President signed that Act, he called upon Congress again to pass legislation quickly to modernize the Federal Housing Administration. A modernized FHA could help an additional 250,000 homeowners by the end of this year and passage of this bill is the appropriate next step to help bring stability to the housing market for years to come. The Administration remains committed to implementing effective measures that will help American homeowners buy and stay in their homes.

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