On January 4, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent a letter to Congress with a number of recommendations to strengthen the housing market. Significantly, one of his key recommendations matches what the Law Center has already suggested.
Bernanke wants the federal government to create a program that allows currently vacant foreclosed properties, whether owned by the government or private financial institutions, to be rented. Most of these properties can’t sell and are sitting empty. The Law Center strongly favors a program like this; matching homeless people with vacant homes is just common sense.
Recently, the Law Center proposed something similar to HUD and the U.S. Treasury, with one key distinction: our request is that the properties be specifically used to provide stable permanent housing to homeless and poor families. At a time when new federal dollars for affordable housing are scarce, this is a low-cost solution to a widespread problem. The glut of foreclosed homes is a tremendous opportunity to stabilize the lives of families in need. We hope Congress and the Administration will take advantage of it.
– Jeremy Rosen, Policy Director