A recent study conducted by one of the country' biggest lenders shows that about eight in 10 Americans back new laws to safeguard home loans and mortgages by modernizing and revamping the Federal Housing Administration.
Proposed in Congress weeks ago, the Expanding American Homeownership Act of 2007 would overhaul and modernize the FHA, making home loans more affordable and secure for prospective homeowners.
The survey by Wells Fargo found that 77 percent of Americans support an stronger FHA and 83 percent of people between 25 and 34 support the new legislation.
Almost half of the first-time homebuyers last year were in that age group, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The country' top housing official, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, pointed to the survey as a major sign that Americans are ready for housing reform.
"Americans want financially sound options," he said during a speech at the Wells Fargo Housing Symposium. "Americans are in support of an FHA that could help even more first-time home buyers and people with moderate incomes have access to safer mortgages. This survey demonstrates the urgent need for Congress to pass legislation that modernizes the FHA to help both promote and protect homeownership.
"The housing market can, and will, continue to grow. After all, homeownership stands near the all time high," Jackson continued. "Nearly 70 percent of all American families own a home. We should view that fact with pride. But there is work to be done. If we are going to stimulate growth in the housing market we will have to wisely engineer some important changes".
Forclosure or failed mortgages will strike more than 2 million American homeowners in the subprime market by the year' end, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit advocacy group. The cost in lost equity will near $164 billion.
About one in five people who obtained subprime mortgages in the last two years will wind up in foreclosure, according to the center.
More than a half-million borrowers have lost their homes in the subprime market, and industry experts project that another 2 million or so are likely to meet a similar fate as the subprime crisis spirals.