In case you missed it, last week HUD joined the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Treasury to announce that the three agencies will explore using government-owned foreclosed properties to bolster the nation’s rental market. The three agencies on Wednesday released official Request for Information, which solicits outside ideas on how to turn the government’s trove of foreclosed homes into a positive force to strengthen the rental market. ProPublica examines the announcement – including arguments both for and against seeking to transform foreclosures into rentals.
And after the jump, we’ve pulled together a quick rundown of other major press coverage:
New York Times (Wyatt, 8/11) U.S. Seeks Ideas on Renting Out Foreclosed Property. Uncle Sam wants you — to rent a house from Uncle Sam. The Obama administration said on Wednesday that it was soliciting ideas on how to turn the federal government’s inventory of foreclosed houses into rental properties that could be managed by private enterprises or sold in bulk. 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.
USA Today (Jackson, 8/11) Obama team seeks ideas on foreclosed properties. The Obama administration is asking investors for ideas about what to do with foreclosed housing properties, including the possibility of turning government-backed projects into rental homes. The plan is to “explore alternatives for maximizing value to taxpayers and increasing private investment in the housing market, including approaches that support rental and affordable housing needs,” said an administration statement.
Washington Post (Dennis, 8/11) Government-owned homes may get ‘for rent’ signs. The Obama administration Wednesday went searching for creative answers to a perplexing question: How can the government rid itself of the glut of foreclosed properties it now owns in a way that nudges the housing market toward recovery? As the housing crisis has persisted, government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the Federal Housing Administration, have taken possession of hundreds of thousands of foreclosures throughout the country. But selling those homes at decent prices in an abysmal market has proven difficult.