Fighting Blight, Cities Become Realtors

Boston, Minneapolis and San Diego are flipping houses in an effort to prevent neighborhood blight- a strategy that appears to be working.

"The efforts so far have been taken on a small scale. But local officials say they can become an important pillar of any housing recovery with the help of $4 billion in federal grants that were part of a housing bill Congress approved in July.

Indeed, the sale of foreclosed homes - not just to city governments but more broadly to investors and homeowners - contributed to a 3.1 percent increase in existing home sales in July, the highest level in five months, according to data released on Monday by the National Association of Realtors.

That hardly means that the housing crisis is over, because the number of homes for sale climbed to another record level as more people put their homes on the market. But without buyers taking foreclosed homes at steeply discounted prices, the problem would be even worse."

Full Story: Communities Become Home Buyers to Fight Decay



Deal or no deal?

Hey Uncle Sam:

Instead of taking my money away (taxes) to buy these properties, why don't you give me a TAX CREDIT for buying one and fixing it up myself?

Say, I buy one of these houses and fix it up so the place won't be 'blighted'. Then you credit my tax bill in the same amount it took to fix it up, plus carrying costs. I get to keep any profits from renting or selling it.



I think that is what they should be doing. But, uncle Sam's little bureaucratic sons love to meddle in the private markets to pretend they have jobs that entail more than rubber stamping and paper-pushing.

Banks don't want inventory for a reason, but leave it to local governments to take it on. I love how the article claims that the market is working too slow for Mayors like Menino. Translation: the rebound won't occur until after the next election and that is too late for my political career.

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