Notably, his call to wind down the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC), has added fuel to the debate on what the government's role in housing should be.
Outside of GSE reform, Obama also continued his push for more refinancing options and greater clarity on mortgage regulations to increase the availability of mortgage credit. He also highlighted the need for affordable rental housing.
But even if everything on the President's housing agenda gets done -- and that's a tall order, especially where GSE reform is concerned -- it still might not be enough to fix housing.Credit standards might loosen once there is better clarity on regulations, but it won't loosen by a lot. New rules require banks to ensure that borrowers have an ability to pay their mortgage. Unfortunately, in this economic environment, a lot of borrowers cannot afford their homes. The President acknowledged as much in his conversation with Zillow Wednesday. "I think we all recognize that it is still a soft housing market, in part, because it is still a soft unemployment market. The real economy is directly related to the housing market," he said. And, as TheStreet has pointed out,