We heard this morning from Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office that the mayor has written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, urging the Senate to pass the economic stimulus package. The mayor’s letter especially encourages the part that would temporarily raise the line on what’s considered a jumbo mortgage.

The proposed change would raise that cap from $417,000 to potentially more than $700,000, meaning loans in that span would be available as conforming loans with lower interest rates. Here’s the gist, from that letter:

The City of San Diego supports increasing the conforming loan limit under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because the exceptionally expensive cost of living and what constitutes “middle-income” in our region do not fit the standard programs. The median priced home is $440,000 meaning that the vast majority of San Diego residents are unable to earn enough to afford a home but fall outside the eligibility for other helpful federal programs

.

I talked to Job Nelson, associate director of intergovernmental relations in the Mayor’s Office, about the request. He said San Diego joined cities like San Jose in lobbying Reid when they heard parts of the stimulus package may encounter difficulty getting through the Senate.

“The mayor has always been a firm believer in homeownership, and he has recognized that there are difficulties with that given the market that we’re in,” Nelson said. “We’re limited as a local government in the things that we can do, to do kind of an economic stimulus package. So we actively advocate at the state and federal level on things that are going to be helpful to our area.”

KELLY BENNETT

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