Own-to-Rent on Capitol Hill

Thu, 22 May 2008 19:15:57 +0000

Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced H.R. 6116, the Saving Family Homes Act of 2008 today:

The Act would grant homeowners whose mortgages have been foreclosed the right to petition a judge to allow them to remain in the home as renters, and pay a fair market rent. The rent would be set by a court-appointed appraiser and adjusted annually for inflation.

The Saving Family Homes Act is one of the few proposed remedies for the current mortgage crisis which requires no expenditure of federal funds or additional bureaucracy, while giving immediate relief to millions of families facing foreclosure and preventing home vacancies that harm neighborhoods.

To prevent abuse by speculators, the Act limits eligibility to mortgages on single-family, principal residences, occupied for at least 2 years, which sold for less than the median home value in the metropolitan statistical area in which the home resides or the median value in the state if such information is not available.

It is based on Dean Baker's "Own-to-Rent" proposal for avoiding foreclosures that I think is the best proposal that has been discussed to date. Here is Dean's House testimony before the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from yesterday. Here is an op-ed we co-authored, "Save the Homeowners, Not the Hedge Funds." Here are some earlier posts.