Friday Five: Refi Changes, Housing Commission Launched, and More

In this week’s roundup of housing market headlines, pols step up rhetoric on home ownership issues, but many consumers are doubtful they’ll see relief.

Crisscrossing the western states that have been impacted the most by foreclosures, President Obama this week promoted new rules for federally guaranteed mortgages. Back in Washington, a group of former U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretaries and members of Congress launched a bipartisan commission to find remedies for the ailing housing market. These headlines and much more in this week’s Friday Five.

Los Angeles Times: Mortgage Refinancing to Get Easier Under Revised U.S. Program

The Obama administration is launching yet another high-profile campaign to shore up the housing market — and with it, the economy — by making it easier for some struggling home owners to refinance underwater mortgage loans at today’s ultra-low interest rates.

National Journal: Bipartisan Housing Commission Launches With Goal for 2013

For the first time since the housing crisis began, a group of Republicans and Democrats are in agreement that fostering a true economic recovery is inextricably linked to the health of the housing market, and they are vowing to create a bipartisan solution. But the group does not plan to offer a proposal until early 2013.

Wall Street Journal Washington Wire: Politics Counts: Why Candidates Can’t Ignore the Housing Mess

If the 2012 campaign is to be about the economy — and every sign certainly points that way — it will be hard to ignore the housing market.

New York Times: Jobs Plan Stalled, Obama to Try New Economic Drive

With his jobs plan stymied in Congress by Republican opposition, President Obama on Monday will begin a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education, and other economic problems over the coming months, heralded by a new mantra: “We can’t wait” for lawmakers to act.

Associated Press: Voters with Housing Woes Giving Up on Politicians

Across America, despite the hundreds protesting for limited government or more government action, a broad swath of the middle class hit hard by the crash in housing prices is quietly resigned, given up on seeing any relief — particularly from politicians.