Merkley plans to tackle housing markets

Merkley plans to tackle housing markets

Senator Jeff Merkley proposed a plan to help underwater homeowners with a 4% refinancing option.

“Four years ago, the U.S. government acted quickly and boldly to rescue major financial institutions. However, we have not done not nearly enough for American families who are struggling with the downturn in the housing market,” said Merkley. “There are millions of Americans trapped in high-interest mortgages, and that's not just bad for them, it's bad for neighborhoods hit by foreclosures and it's a huge anchor on our economy. A bold solution to help these families refinance is the fastest way to get our economy back on track.”

Merkley's plan, which would not require taxpayer dollars but does anticipate the federal government selling bonds to investors to raise funds, is projected to turn a profit over its lifetime, according to models and stress-tests of the underlying assumptions. The Senator, who serves on the Senate Banking Committee and was once the executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Portland, spent over six months developing the proposal and consulting with experts.