Teaming up with Zillow, a popular web-based real estate firm, President Barack Obama is scheduled to answer questions from homeowners, renters and prospective buyers Wednesday afternoon, via a variety of social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Instagram.
Obama gave a speech Tuesday in Phoenix pitching for additional money and new housing policies that wind down the influence of quasi-government agency credit giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
"What we want to do is put forward ideas that will help millions of responsible, middle-class homeowners who still need relief," Obama said. "And we want to help hardworking Americans who dream of owning their own home fair and square, have a down payment, are willing to make those payments, understand that owning a home requires responsibility."
Spencer Rascoff, Zillow's CEO and moderator of the online question-and-answer session with the president, said there are still a lot of questions regarding a potential housing recovery including affordability and access to home loans.
"Millions of renters, homeowners and potential homebuyers are entering the market today armed with more knowledge than they've ever had, but also facing more uncertainty," he said following the speech. "Many questions are on the minds of Americans and the opportunity to connect them directly with the president couldn't come at a better time."
Some Senate Republicans reacted positively to the president's housing speech, signaling their support for winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the recipients of a much-criticized government bailout during Obama's first term.
"There is real momentum growing to finally move a structural housing finance reform bill that ends the Fannie and Freddie model of private gains and public losses, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate, the House and the White House to see it through," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Rascoff said the goal of the online event, which can be followed at #AskObamaHousing and starts at 1 p.m. EDT, is to directly connect Obama with everyday homeowners or those thinking about buying a home and help them gain a better understanding of the direction of the recovery and market.
"As the president tours the country talking about economic policy and discusses housing in particular this week, this is an apt time for consumers to ask the questions that are important to them."