Q: I just felt a need to make notice about the housing problem we have here on the treasure coast in Florida (and nationwide, to be honest).

People are complaining left and right about all of the abandoned and foreclosed homes in their neighborhoods and the declining values of their properties. Why doesn’t the government take into account that there are a lot of people out there who made some bad choices throughout their earlier life and have a credit score around 500?

These are the same people that have been renting homes for many years, paying anywhere up to $1,000 or more, and also keeping up with their monthly utility bills as well. Wouldn’t it be in the best interest to their neighborhood if some of these people who have never owned a home could be considered for a city, county or state-sanctioned program that gets them into these foreclosed homes?

In turn, this would help clean up the neighborhoods and also help out with the property values. I think that this is something that should be looked into.

A: You bring up several excellent points and suggestions about a way to help solve the housing crisis and credit crisis by renting foreclosed homes. As many real estate investors as there are, there is a huge supply of foreclosed homes. Even one foreclosed home in a neighborhood has the potential to bring down everyone else’s home prices substantially. And, once you get several vacant foreclosed properties in a neighborhood – well, it’s an open invitation for trouble, making the housing and credit crisis worse.

Cities across the country recognize the problem of vacant foreclosures and are now instituting new local laws and rules requiring homeowners (whether individuals or mortgage lenders) to register vacant homes and pay a fee. They’re requiring banks and mortgage servicing companies to step up and take care of these properties, mowing the lawns, and maintaining them so they don’t become meth labs, heroin dens, or just neighborhood blight.

There is a new program being discussed and should be voted on soon: The Obama administration has proposed the idea of renting foreclosed homes back to the former owners just to keep them in their homes for the time being.

So why not rent foreclosed homes with an aim to solving the housing crisis.

I’ll follow up on this issue as it continues to develop. Thanks for your comments.

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