Obama Returns to Phoenix to Talk Housing Market

Claims rebound being felt in the area, despite many low-income families still struggling

With seemingly endless images of half-guilt and deserted developments gathering dust following the recession, the U.S. Southwest once symbolized the 2008-2012 housing bust that took out nearly $7 trillion in homeowner equity and ravaged the finances of many Americans across the country.

Still, as the housing market stages of recovery around the United States, President Obama has gone back to the region to claim that some of the credit and urge further action to keep housing winning streak alive.

Over four years following Obama outlining his own plan to halt the housing market crumbling in 2009, he has returned to Phoenix where he will again talk on the issue. The speech is just another in the summer tour that highlights the aspects of the economy that have improved, but not been fixed, under his administration’s watch.

However, within Phoenix, the housing picture of increases and better standing prices continues to be challenging for those who seek housing, especially those who are on the lower strata of the economy, according to homeowner advocates.

“My fear is that people think the problem is over,” said Patricia Garcia Duarte, president of Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix. “There are still families that are struggling.”

Those who have steady work and respectable credit still find it a difficult task to find lenders willing to take a less-than-gigantic down payment, she said.

The majority of southwestern states, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Florida, all were the states that were hit hardest by the 2008 financial crisis. Obama pointed to the recent gains in Phoenix that have occurred during a rebound in recent years.

Garcia Duarte, organizer of a national nonprofit, stated that she sees many people who still are having trouble staying in their homes during the supposed rebound.

“I would like the president to highlight that homeownership should be a good investment,” she said. “I think policymakers shifted and crossed out homeownership as a good thing to do for this country.”

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