Making Home Affordable (MFA) allocates $75 billion to assist 5 million homeowners (that's $15,000 per home.) So is MFA delivering on its promise to help homeowners? Is it helping to stabilize home prices or is it a waste of taxpayer dollars? Every Wednesday this diary will update you on these questions. We'll give you the best info we can find on MFA's impact, its application process, and its coverage in media (see the June 11 entry for starters). Each update will sum up poll results and comments on your experiences, opinions, discoveries and expertise. Our goal is to link up with other media and with the Obama administration. The President has promised to listen to the American people. Properly handled, this little diary can generate constructive dialog between citizens and the administrators of Making Home Affordable.
So let's get the dialog going!
June 17 Last week's poll had 52 responses and 26 comments from 10 people. Of the 52 responders, some 51% have applied or may apply for help from Making Home Affordable. That's huge! 19% say MFA is needed to stabilize home prices. 13% are against MFA in principle. This week you can use a streamlined version of last week's poll.
Judging just from last week's comments, it seems that MHA, so far, is doing more to confuse than to help. Only 2 of 10 commenters, Spudnic and Justsayjoe, reported having positive experiences. 6 commenters - Nada Lemming, Kristina, route 66, esway, Patricia and freshwood - sound confused or worried.
2 commenters gave explanations for the confusion: Taylor324 on the bewildering impact of loan packaging on loan ownership and springtimeforHitler (the name referes to farcical musical by comedian Mell Brooks) on MFA's actual intent:
Never meant to do anything but subsidize banks. Another give away to Wall St and the quixotic attempts to prop up asset prices. Let prices fall to where they will fall eventually anyway.
Sound cynical? Sure. Hard hearted? Perhaps. But look at last week's comments. I think they tend more to confirm than refute it. Could last week's comments be a tiny yet representative sample of larger public opinion? Let's see who weighs in this week.
Last week I suggested that interested readers email Washington Post Real Estate writer Renae Merle. Her MFA coverage is the fullest I've seen so far. In your email, put a link to this diary in your email and ask her to review comments here. Feel free to do likewise with other writers or public forums out there (I know of nothing focused on MFA so far).
Thanks for your input. You're helping to create an interactive civic media that exists to make citizens and government responsive and accountable to each other. With luck and persistence, we can get the powers that be to listen and respond helpfully to what's said here.
FYI, we're the Chicago Civic Media Project, advancing the dialogic future of American political discourse. This link to our archival site links you to three current sites covering the global financial crisis, Obama-era civic media platforms, and our monster treatment for interactive issue-centered, problem-solving multimedia civic media dialogs.