President Obama Answers Your Questions About Housing

President Barack Obama participates in an interview with Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow

President Barack Obama participates in an interview with Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, at the Hilton Woodland Hills/Los Angeles hotel in Woodland Hills, Calif., Aug. 7, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today in Los Angeles President Obama sat down with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff to answer questions about housing from Americans all over the country.

As President Obama explained yesterday in Phoenix, having the chance to own your home is a cornerstone of what it means to be middle class in America. And while our housing market is beginning to heal from the 2008 collapse – home prices are rising and sales are up – there’s still more work to do.

“We’ve got to give more hardworking Americans the chance to buy their first home. We have to help more responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages,” President Obama said. “And we’ve got to turn the page on this kind of bubble-and-bust mentality that helped to create this mess in the first place.”

Homeowners, renters and prospective buyers submitted questions via social media about issues like mortgage interest rates, access to refinancing, help for neighborhoods hit hard by the housing crisis, and President Obama’s plan for reforming the housing finance market. Watch the full interview, or jump to selected questions from the list below.

Andrew from Florida asked:
I was wondering how you feel rising interest rates over the last three months are going to affect the housing recovery going forward?

Jill from Louisiana asked:
What changes you think could be made to help second-time homeowners, I refer specifically to young families who lost considerable equity in their first homes due to the equity bust?

Colin, via Twitter, asked:
What’s happening with #MyRefi or #HARP3? Is there any hope with such a program?

Jason from Arizona asked:
My neighborhood has been hit very hard by the foreclosure crisis. Things are finally starting to look up, but we’re certainly not back to pre-recession values. How is the administration planning to help homeowners in areas like Phoenix regain our footing?

Jacob from California asked:
I’m a recent college graduate with a full time job, but I still live at home with my parents. I’m wondering with massive student loan debt, will I ever be able to move into a house of my own? Not even looking to buy, just looking to rent.

Steve from Minnesota asked:
If Congress is successful in scaling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac down, what model fills the gap?

Elias from California asked:
What help is available for homeowners who are looking to refinance but don’t have loan backed by Freddie or Fanny?

Jennifer from North Carolina asked:
I’m a high school teacher in North Carolina, I get paid so little that I can’t afford my own apartment. The rent here goes up every year, but I haven’t had a raise in three years. A fixed mortgage would be more consistent than rising rents, but I don’t have the job stability.

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