Mayor pulls taxpayer-funded debt relief plan

February 24, 2009 3:57:53 PM PST
Houston Mayor Bill White today pulled a proposal that would have used taxpayer money to pay down the debt of first-time homebuyers. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The matter involved some homebuyers trying to qualify for a mortgage through Houston's assistance program.

Reports say that White's decision to withdraw the item from tomorrow's city council meeting came after the plan drew national attention.

Councilman Jarvis Johnson says Houston should continue to help people move from renting to owning. But Johnson says it can be done in a better, "more thoughtful way."

The "Credit Score Enhancement Program" would have given up to $3,000 for individuals to use on car loans, credit card balances or other debts.

Houston city officials believed debt reduction could provide the slight boost in credit scores some applicants need in a tighter credit market.

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