Public Calls for More Help for Homeowners

As Congress debates proposals to help solve the financial crisis, one thing is very clear: The public wants these proposals to pay serious attention to the financial problems of American homeowners. In a Pew poll taken just before and right after the rejection of the first bailout proposal by the House, an overwhelming 81 percent of the public said they were concerned (54 percent “very” and 27 percent “somewhat”) that government intervention won’t do enough for homeowners in financial trouble.
Chart One

A CBS News poll taken around the same time found that the public strongly endorses the idea the federal government should provide financial help to those homeowners who are having trouble repaying their mortgages because of rising rates. Three-fifths supported this approach, compared to just 35 percent who thought the federal government should stay away from such action.
Chart Two

The politics of the financial rescue packages being discussed by Congress are complex and difficult. But one critical part is the extent to which the public believes homeowners are being provided with the help they need. The more the public believes this, the easier it should be for legislators to craft and pass appropriate financial stabilization measures.

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