Obama details broader housing plan

BEN FELLER JIM KUHNHENN Associated Press Published:

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the nation's housing crisis is damaging not only the U.S. economy, but also what it means to be middle class in America.

Obama says that while government alone can't fix the problem, Congress must do what it can to help struggling homeowners.

Obama is outlining a proposal to allow millions more homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates even if they owe more than their homes are worth. The White House says the average borrower could save about $3,000 annually.

In a veiled shot at his GOP rival Mitt Romney, Obama says homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage shouldn't have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. Romney has previously said the housing market needs to bottom out.