When the program began in 2009, administration officials hoped at least 4 million Americans would take advantage. But as of August, about 894,000 homeowners had refinanced their mortgages through the program.
While White House officials tried to avoid predicting how many homeowners would benefit from the revamped program, the Federal Housing Finance Agency estimated an additional 1 million people would now be eligible. Moody’s Analytics say the figure could be as high as 1.6 million.
“However many homeowners are going to be helped by this, they will be very grateful for the assistance that will allow them to refinance at today’s low rates,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. He indicated the president would take additional executive actions this year if Congress fails to act on elements of his jobs bill.
Following his events in Nevada, the president will travel to Los Angeles for two fundraisers for his re-election campaign, including one at the home of movie stars Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. Obama will also make stops this week in San Francisco and Denver.
Republicans were quick to criticize Obama’s Western swing, accusing him of working harder to save his job than to help residents in the states he’s visiting. “It’s another day in the campaign life of President Obama, and he’s bringing his re-election tour to Nevada, ground zero for the damaging effects of his failed economic policies,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
Julie Pace reported from Washington.