President Barack Obama declared to a Phoenix audience Thursday the U.S. economy has come back from the economic doldrums of the past several years, including the housing market. But, he says, we can do better with a plan to

lower home insurance premiums for first-time home buyers, which would reduce annual costs to as much as $900.00 a year.

To put that savings into perspective, Obama says, “That’s $900.00 dollars that could go into paying the groceries, or gas, or a child’s education. Or depending on what your mortgage is, that might be a month’s mortgage payments.

Obama specifically came to Phoenix to outline the plan, since the area experienced one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation after 2008 before things began turning around in recent years.

But the President adds, these rates are only for responsible homebuyers. As he puts it, “don’t buy what you can’t afford”, or, “you’ll be out of luck.”

The president notes, the foreclosure crisis was spurred by lenders allowing home owners to borrow more money than they could handle, losing their homes in the process. And Phoenix was among the worst for foreclosures in those darkest years.

Before the speech, Obama visited a once depressed South Phoenix affordable housing project that’s in the midst of being revitalized. He says with the help of non- profits like Chicanos Por La Causa which purchased them and  local residents being hired  to rehab the properties, they’re now on the selling block. Homes, Obama says, could fit into the budgets of first-time home buyers eligible for reduced insurance premiums.

The President delivered his remarks before an exuberant crowd, including students, at the Central High School Auditorium in Central Phoenix. 
–Barbara Villa