Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where's The Accountability At HUD?

President Accountability proudly told the National Urban League that he will personally hold every single teacher across this land accountable for the test scores of their students.

He said it's the least he can do as a citizen, a president and a parent.

Of course his kids attend swanky private schools, so what his parenthood has to do with public education or public school teachers is beyond me.

Nonetheless the buzz word for the Obama education policy is ACCOUNTABILITY.

But many political observers have been calling for some accountability for the Obama administration's piss-poor housing policy that has done little to alleviate the foreclosure crisis and lots to make it worse.

So some House Democrats have decided to make their displeasure with the president's policies known:

The House will vote Thursday on a measure to strip the travel budget of President Obama’s housing secretary.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), who weeks ago called for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan’s resignation over what he and other California members believe has been the administration’s subpar response to the housing and foreclosure crisis that has crippled the state’s housing market.

Cardoza’s California district is one of the hardest hit in the country by the housing crisis.

If the measure passes, it would be a shot across the bow against the Obama administration’s handling of the foreclosure crisis.

Donovan will meet Thursday morning with Cardoza and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, where he was expected to receive a verbal berating by Democrats representing districts with disproportionately high home foreclosure rates.

And why are people pissed off at the HUD secretary and President Obama over the housing crisis?

Take a look here:

WASHINGTON — More than three years into the housing crisis that helped trigger a worldwide recession, the torrid pace of home foreclosures continues to tear at the core of the American dream.


In the first half of 2010, more than 1.6 million U.S. properties were hit with foreclosure filings, which include bank repossessions, default notices and auction sale notices. That's up 8 percent from the first six months of 2009 and puts the U.S. on pace to top 3 million filings this year. That includes more than a million bank repossessions, and while sub-prime borrowers and bad loans led the surge in foreclosures in 2008 and 2009, this year's wave comes from homeowners who've lost their jobs.

The numbers reflect the widespread and continued fragility of local housing markets amid what's largely a jobless recovery. They also raise questions about the effectiveness of programs designed to fight foreclosures, such as the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program.


From the Bush administration's HOPE for Homeowners program to the TARP-funded HAMP program, community groups, consumer advocates and homeowners themselves say anti-foreclosure programs have been largely ineffective because banks don't have a strong incentive or mandate to modify loans that favor them financially.

Government officials envisioned the Home Affordable Modification Program helping 3 to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure by 2012. Borrowers who receive permanent modifications of their home loans under HAMP save a median of 36 percent — about $510 per month — off their original mortgage payments.

However, of more than 3.1 million eligible delinquent loans, only 389,000 have been modified permanently, according to the most recent government figures. Another 364,000 loans are in trial, or temporary, modification plans that could become permanent, but critics say that seldom occurs. More than 520,000 of these plans ended up being cancelled.

In a recent survey of 53 California mortgage counselors with caseloads of more than 14,000 homeowners, 60 percent said they had clients who lost their homes to foreclosure while they were working with a loan servicer to enroll in the HAMP program.

People try and navigate a bureaucratic mess to get into the program and get their mortgages modified.

The banks get a few more months of payments while people are trying to get into the program.

But then the banks foreclose upon them before they are approved and they lose their homes anyway.

How's that for change we can believe?

How's that for competence?

It sucks.

Totally sucks.

And instead of fixing the HAMP program and firing the people who created it, the administration tries to hide the data and run jive ass public relations briefings for housing reporters to get them to stop criticizing the program.

Now is that the kind of accountability we want to see from President Accountability and his administration?


Certainly that's not the type of accountability he bragged about using on teachers today.

I've said for a long while now, if the Obama administration were a high school in Rhode Island, it would have been put on the SURR list and set up for "turnaround" as part of the Race to the Top program.