3:32 PM EDT
Ruben Hinojosa, D-TX 15th

Mr. HINOJOSA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the underlying bill, H.R. 3221, the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008, and in particular H.R. 5830, the FHA Housing Stabilization and Homeownership Retention Act of 2008, which is part of this housing rescue package.

I am proud to be a cosponsor of H.R. 5830. I believe that it is a well-balanced measure that will go a long way towards turning around the housing crisis and address the issues that have resulted in a nationwide economic crisis.

Mr. Speaker, I am especially pleased with title II of the bill which establishes a long-needed Office of Housing Counseling within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. I commend Chairman Frank and Ranking Member Waters for including it in their bill.

I sincerely appreciate the fact that community-based organizations with expertise in the field of housing counseling will be given a voice in the development of such policies. I am pleased that the bill provides for the building of capacity to provide housing counseling services in areas that lack sufficient services such as large parts of my district in the Rio Grande Valley and in rural America in general.

Moreover, I applaud Chairman Frank and Congresswoman Waters for including in the bill the authorization of $3 million for public service announcements as part of the act's national public service multimedia campaign. This campaign will help persons facing mortgage foreclosure, elderly persons, persons who face language barriers, and low-income persons.

I want to take this opportunity to thank them for increasing the availability, affordability, and quality of housing in rural America. And I believe this bill will do more of the same.

Mr. Speaker, I believe the product Chairman Frank and Congresswoman Waters have brought to the floor will result in more homeowners remaining in their homes and help stabilize the housing market. I strongly urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill.