Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen hosted a roundtable discussion Aug. 2 to talk with community leaders and real estate officials about resources available to help residents refinance their mortgages.
"Nevada is in a unique situation," said Bud Cranor, a spokesman with the city of Henderson. "The housing market (in Nevada) was the hardest hit in the country. We need special assistance."
The roundtable was facilitated by the Nevada office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Cranor said the meeting also included about 15 members of different chambers of commerce and selected city staff members.
"We discussed refinancing options and gave input on what's working and what's not working," Cranor said.
Kenneth LoBene, field office director with the Las Vegas office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said residents should have as many options as possible when it comes to refinancing their mortgages.
Because of the way the laws are set up, not everyone has equal access. People whose loans are owned by government-sponsored housing finance companies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might have more options than those who don't.
"Give them as many options as possible and let them decide what instrument they want to use," LoBene said.
Cranor said officials discussed urging Congress to allow nongovernmental households to participate.
"It would help thousands of Nevadans," Cranor said.
LoBene estimates that more than 30,000 Nevada homeowners have loans that don't fall under government agencies.
Mayors from about 75 cities put on similar meetings at the request of the White House. Each state's Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected to compile information from the meetings and present it to the White House.
"We hope to have additional meetings in the future," Cranor said, adding that the meetings could include feedback from lenders and banks.
For more information, visit makinghomeaffordable.gov and hud.gov.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 387-5201.