SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after the Obama Administration announced that California is eligible for up to $700 million in federal funding to develop innovative initiatives to help homeowners struggling to meet their mortgage payments:

“California has been hit hard by the housing crisis, and while my Administration took decisive action that has helped many Californians stay in their homes, this new funding will play a vital role in aiding the state’s neediest homeowners. I am glad that the Obama Administration is recognizing the continued need in California. This funding is more than just critical assistance for families, it means stabilizing neighborhoods and entire communities. I have directed my Housing Finance Agency to put together a thorough action plan to ensure we get every dime of this funding and assist the greatest number of Californians.”

On February 19, President Obama announced that a $1.5 billion pool of money from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 would be allocated among five states, including California, to be used to help the borrowers most in need. Today, it was announced that California is eligible to receive nearly half of the available funding – $699.6 million. The California Housing Finance Agency is charged with submitting a detailed plan on how to best inject this money into California communities to the U.S. Department of Treasury by April 16.

Governor Schwarzenegger was quick to recognize and react to the housing downturn in 2007 and his efforts have resulting in more than a quarter of a million loans modifications for California homeowners. Some of his actions include:
•In 2007, the Governor forged an agreement with major loan servicers to streamline the loan modification process for subprime borrowers living in their homes.
•In 2007, the Governor launched a $1.2 million public awareness campaign to help educate homeowners about options that can help them avoid losing their homes to foreclosures.
•In 2007, the Governor established the Interdepartmental Task Force on Non-traditional Mortgages to ensure a coordinated approach to the issues raised by subprime loans.
•In 2008, the Governor aggressively lobbied the federal government to increase home loan limits permanently, and he succeeded.
•In 2008, the Governor signed legislation to help protect homeowners by requiring a mortgage holder to provide a 30-day notice to a borrower prior to filing any default notice leading to the foreclosure.
•In 2009, the Governor signed a package of bills to increase protections for consumers in the lending market and increase tools for law enforcement to fight deceitful mortgage practices.