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Top Articles for August 2012
"For young adults, does the American Dream still mean homeownership?" — by Blake Warenik, August 9
The challenges young adults face in entering the homeownership market are considerable, but are they enough to derail a whole generation from reaching the promised land? Media coverage, the latest data and polls and a personal story paint the picture of the future of homeownership.
"Millennials are shy of the homebuyers' market. The problem is access, and here's how to fix it." — by Sarah Jawaid, August 14
To close this month's most widely read conversation, Sarah Jawaid responds to Blake Warenik's piece on the challenges first-time homebuyers face in today's tough market and offers practical policy solutions to the problem of access to credit, financially unprepared buyers and a mismatch between existing housing stock and demand.
"Moving Forward: Revitalizing the HUD headquarters building (a thought experiment)" — by Jeffrey Lubell, August 15
Center for Housing Policy Executive Director Jeffrey Lubell paints a picture of a headquarters that puts the "UD" in HUD in his monthly Moving Forward column. Like many who have served in the building, affectionately known as "ten floors of basement," Lubell dreams of a building that is not only more pleasant on the inside, but also one that reflects the mission of the agency that calls it home. He looks toward a future HUD headquarters seamlessly integrated with the surrounding community, rich with retail and transit options and even affordable housing.
"Treasury moves forward with wind-down of Fannie and Freddie" — by Ethan Handelman, August 17
Our top hard-news story of the month, as it surely was for the rest of the housing world, was the news from Treasury and FHFA that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would no longer pay dividends to repay their bailout, but rather that all profits would go to Treasury. This development effectively ends any chance that a return to profitability would enable the GSEs to buy their way out of conservatorship. Ethan Handelman outlines other changes to the agreement governing conservatorship and what it means for the future of mortgage finance.
"Congress passes continuing resolution, sequestration still uncertain" — by Sarah Jawaid, August 1
The other piece of big news relevant to housing to emerge from Washington this month was the agreement between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner to avert a government shutdown before the election. However, automatic budget cuts scheduled to take effect in January without a deficit reduction deal mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011—a component of the "fiscal cliff" analysts fear may plunge the country into a new recession—still loom on the horizon.