Obama Wants Rentals as F’d Up Foreclosures Drop to Four-Year Low

obama and habitat Obama Wants Rentals as Fd Up Foreclosures Drop to Four Year Low

Fixer-upper-in-chief? (Reuters)

Good news! Foreclosures are at their lowest levels in four years!

Wait, no, that’s horrible news. There are so many delinquent homes out there, the banks don’t want to repossess them, and even when they want to, the bottleneck caused by the robo-signing scandal is still holding up the whole party. The Obama administration has a simple solution: Just rent it.

The White House is working on a plan to turn a vast inventory of foreclosed homes into rentals, either privately managed or sold in bulk, according to The Times.

The goal, the administration said, is to stabilize neighborhoods where large supplies of empty, foreclosed properties have hurt property values. In addition, the plan is an effort to clear the nation’s balance sheet of real estate holdings that, because they have been difficult to sell individually, have hung over the housing market and stunted sales of existing homes and new construction.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department are jointly requesting ideas for sales, partnership ventures or other strategies that would help to unload approximately 250,000 properties owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration. Those properties account for about half of all properties that have been foreclosed upon and are still awaiting resale nationwide.

[...]

Greater flexibility in disposing of the houses will have other benefits as well, Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, said. “Exploring new options for selling these foreclosed properties will help expand access to affordable rental housing, promote private investment in local housing markets and support neighborhood and home price stability,” he said in a statement announcing the new program.

Plus, it helps diminish the ranks of home owners, should the administration indeed put an end to the mortgage interest tax deduction.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC

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