US seeks to aid housing industry
Washington — President Reagan announced a five-point program to help America's depressed housing industry but said long-term relief could come only through his economic plan emphasizing cuts in taxes and government spending.
He said the administration is going ahead with five actions to try to stimulate the sale of houses and end what he called the ''nightmare'' of young families unable to pay current mortgage rates averaging 15 percent.
The measures, which do not require congressional approval, are:
* Providing mortgage funds for 50,000 more families by loosening restrictions in a mortgage revenue bond program and broadening definitions of distressed areas.
* Removing barriers to the investment of pension funds so that about $500 million can be switched to the housing industry.
* Easing qualifications home buyers must meet for Federal Housing Administration mortgage loans.
* Removing restrictions on real estate brokers so that they can provide extra services, such as home title insurance.
* Speeding the processing of mortgages, an action he said would encourage the private sector to take over the basic processing of loan applications.