Feds looking at new foreclosure solution

In an attempt to shore up the housing market and also provide more affordable rentals, the federal government is considering the idea of turning some of the 250,000 foreclosed homes it owns into rental units. On Aug. 10, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it was seeking public input on “new options” for selling single-family homes owned by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. 

“As we continue moving forward on housing finance reform, it’s critical that we support the process of repair and recovery in the housing market," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "Exploring new options for selling these foreclosed properties will help expand access to affordable rental housing, promote private investment in local housing markets, and support neighborhood and home price stability."

Officials from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, said they would accept ideas in a “request for information process” through Sept. 15. A more formal request for proposals from interested investors is expected to follow.