Extreme Makeover: Housing Policies Edition

As consumer real estate debt surpasses $9 trillion, TIME magazine examines four radical proposals that top policymakers and economists think will help turn things around.

"Two and a half years on from the crisis, just 760,000 Americans, or 1.5% of the country's 51 million mortgage holders, have received modifications through Barack Obama's signature program, the Home Affordable Modification Program - and nearly half of them have defaulted anyway. After a total of $18 billion in government spending on housing bailouts since 2008, the President declared in early July that the efforts had largely failed," report Massimo Calabresi and Stephen Gangel.

Cognizant that housing will once again be on voters' minds in the upcoming 2012 elections, the Obama White House is ready to roll out another program to ameliorate the financial distress facing homeowners across the nation.

Weighing in on the top four proposals, Calabresi and Gangel write, "[E]conomists and politicians are embracing increasingly radical ideas as a seemingly obvious fact gains consensus. America can't get out of its economic doldrums until it fixes the problem that caused the crisis in the first place: housing."

Full Story: How To Save The Housing Market: Destroy Houses


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