From the NAR (National Association of Realtors) website:
President Bush Signs American Dream Downpayment Act, One of Many Consumer Victories NAR Championed This Year
WASHINGTON (December 16, 2003) – Thousands of Americans will enjoy greater access to more housing opportunities under several pieces of legislation backed by the National Association of Realtors® and recently signed into law by President Bush. The legislation, S. 811, will provide an average of $5,000 in grants to approximately 80,000 lower-income families over the next two years to help them pay downpayment and closing costs on their first homes.
Fan-effing-tastic. Way to go NAR. Way to go President Jorge W. Arbusto. You made it possible for low-income families to live the American Dream. Never mind that these people were not qualified to own a plant let alone a house. Never mind that these people could barely make a payment on their 29% Sears credit card, let alone a mortgage.
Here is what that dream is in 2007 in Atlanta:
Eighty-five bungalows dot the cul-de-sac that joins West Ontario Avenue and East Ontario Avenue in Atlanta. Twenty-two are vacant, victims of mortgage fraud and foreclosure. Now house fires, prostitution, vandals and burglaries terrorize the residents left in this historic neighborhood called Westview Village. "It's created a safety hazard. And if we have to sell our house tomorrow, we're out of luck," said resident Scott Smith. "Real estate agents say to me 'We're not redlining you, but I tell my clients to think twice about buying here.'"This is the Frankenstein the NAR and Jorge W. Arbusto created. They created an environment where everyone thought they were entitled to own a home. Didn't matter if you had a 500 FICO or $10 to your name. You were entitled to be a home "owner". The NAR and Arbusto made sure of that.
The NAR benefited of course. The more houses sold, the more Realtors earn in commission. Who cares if people making $20K a year are getting $500K mortgages? Housing only goes up and you can always re-finance. Or better yet move again in 2 years into an even bigger and more expensive house and pay another 6% in Realtor commission. The gift that keeps on giving.
Jorge W. Arbusto benefited. His biggest constituency - illegal aliens - got cheap loans. They got to live this so-called American Dream too. Never mind that they had no legal right to own a home. He also bought into the NAR nonsense that everyone should own a home. Everyone should not own a home. People who have no money for a down payment should not own a home. The government should not subsidize down payments. When the govt does that, bad things happen. Anyone with an ounce of gray matter could see that. Jorge W. Arbusto couldn't...or refused to. Either way he messed it up.
And of course the lending industry benefited for obvious reasons.
And this is the legacy that will be left behind once the housing crash is complete. Millions of unwanted, empty homes all over the country. Homes that will be vandalized and used by hookers and drug dealers. Homes that will either be bulldozed or turned into Section 8 ghettos. You've done a wonderful job Jorge, way to go.