Monday, August 20, 2012

Hindsight on housing from the New York Times

by Ethan Handelman, National Housing Conference

Looking back to 2009, the New York Times’ Binyamin Appelbaum points to a “cautious response to the housing crisis” by the Obama Administration as a mistake with far-reaching implications. Few would dispute that the federal government has not done all it could have to stabilize neighborhoods, prevent foreclosures, and revive housing markets—though many would disagree about what should have and still could be done.

Applebaum’s article addresses (but perhaps underemphasizes) the political limitations in the housing conversation that continue to plague us. Congress and the Administration together spend disproportionate energy trying to perfectly target assistance only to the most deserving, even as the foreclosure crisis continues and the cost of rental housing rises. Housing is too critical to families, communities, and the economy to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Read the New York Times piece and decide for yourself.

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