February 28, 2008. WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kit Bond today joined Republican Senators to unveil their comprehensive package – the Homeownership, Manufacturing, and Economic Growth Act, or HOME Act — to stabilize the housing market, strengthen the economy, and prevent tax increases.

“Too many families in Missouri and across the nation are feeling the pain of this housing crisis and they need our help now,” said U.S. Senator Kit Bond.  “The Republican plan will help these families avoid foreclosure and help keep them in their homes.”
Bond, ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee that funds the Department of Housing and Urban Development, co-authored the housing provisions of the larger package that will help families and neighborhoods through the current housing crisis.  Unfortunately, this problem is hurting families across the nation.  Bond pointed out that in Missouri there are 57,000 people delinquent on their mortgages, with 20 percent of Missouri subprime borrowers behind on their payments. 

The Republican housing proposal that Bond wrote will provide immediate assistance to struggling families through $10 billion in funds to refinance distressed subprime mortgages.  This proposal will authorize state housing financing agencies to issue $10 billion in tax-exempt bonds and use the proceeds to help homeowners refinance subprime mortgages.

Also, in order to help families avoid foreclosure and help keep them in their homes, the Republican plan will expedite the delivery of $180 million to provide counseling and help to families in distress, which Bond and Democratic Senator Dodd secured in last year’s Transportation-Housing spending bill.  Earlier this week Bond announced that the first block of these funds were awarded, 35 community organizations in Missouri were recipients.  The Republican proposal will ensure that remaining funds are delivered as quickly as possible.

It is critical that neighborhoods receive immediate assistance, and through the Republican plan they will.  The proposal provides $15,000 tax credits to purchase a home in or approaching foreclosure over the next year.  The plan also includes a tax provision to help firms that suffered operating losses lower their tax burden.

In addition to addressing the current crisis, the Republican plan helps families in the future. The proposal will ensure that consumers better understand the loans they are considering before they agree to final terms.  Bond emphasized that this provision is critical to protecting families who are applying for new loans.

Bond noted that in contrast to the Democrats’ plan, Republicans will avoid making home ownership more expensive, especially for low-income families, through harmful bankruptcy changes that increase the cost of borrowing.

The broader Republican growth package will also prevent 21 million Americans from paying more AMT taxes and prevent millions more from paying higher tax bills when the sunsetting tax cuts expire in 2011, stressed Bond.  The Republican plan will prevent these soaring tax hikes and provide relief to hard working American families, the employers who create jobs for the American people, and provide the confidence and predictability necessary to strengthen the long-term health of the economy. 


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