Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

September 11, 2008
Syphax rallies supporters for congressional DPA showdown
 I happened to listen in on a national conference call this morning, where Scott Syphax, president and CEO of Sacramento's Nehemiah Corp.of America, was firing up his team to save down payment assistance. He had 9,700 people on the call.

  In recent days there's been a flurry of stories about new congressional support to save the tool that many in the real estate industry think is critical for a real estate recovery.

 The Wall Street Journal had a story on national efforts to turn Washington toward resurrecting down payment assistance. This afternoon I also spotted a Builder Magazine story that said it's not likely to be resurrected because of Senate Republican resistance.

Syphax likened it on the phone to a comeback game: "We're in the fourth quarter and the score is almost tied up. We need one more touchdown."

He predicted that supporters of down payment assistance will prevail - and before Oct. 1 when it's scheduled to end. The nation's new housing bill passed in July killed the practice.

It's been controversial for years. The federal government has done studies saying people who use it are more likely than others to foreclose. And it disdains a common practice of sellers, often home builders, bumping up the price to cover the down payment. Critics say that unfairly inflates home costs for those who can least afford it.

Nehemiah's Syphax said he discourages raising prices and defends the practice as a critical path for lower-income homeowners to get into homeownership, and start building equity for the family. His firm also disputes federal studies, saying those who get down payment assistance are NOT more likely to lose the house to foreclosure.

The debate goes on and on. But Syphax said the House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to hear a bill resurrecting the practice this coming Tuesday. More details in Friday's Home Front column in the print edition of The Bee.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

Jim Wasserman on Twitter

Follow "jimwasserman" on Twitter

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31