Oh, Good: The Obama Administration is Formulating a New Housing Policy

Posted: Jun 24, 2011 10:10 AM

Given that the White House is practically hemorrhaging failed economic policies these days, you might suppose that the Obama administration wouldn't be presumptious enough to even have a "housing policy." Well, brace yourself for some unmitigated gall:

The Obama administration is exploring different ways to provide greater support for rental housing, a top U.S. Treasury official said on Friday.

One approach would be to expand the government's capacity to support lending for the multifamily market, Treasury's under secretary Jeffrey Goldstein told a national housing conference in Washington.

Goldstein said the administration is considering a range of reforms such as risk-sharing with private lenders to reduce the risk to the government and taxpayer.

How can they possibly be serious? Somebody get in there and explain the concept of a "bubble," stat! It seems that this brilliant 'plan' has been in the works for quite awhile, according to Ronald Utt for Heritage last September:

Beginning in mid-summer 2010, the Obama Administration and its supporters initiated an outreach to the press to discuss some of the broad policy themes that could be included in the President’s ongoing transformational narrative on housing policy, whose details are expected to be revealed in early 2011. Although there have been no official pronouncements on this emerging policy from the Administration, statements by mid-level political appointees to the media indicate that an emerging plan that would de-emphasize homeownership and elevate renting as one of its key components.

...But such policies could reduce Americans’ wealth by discouraging investment in an asset that has well served most middle-class American families over the long run.

...While the refocus on ownership versus renting is presented as an effort to address inherent flaws in the system, in fact this latest effort is a continuation of Obama’s national smart growth policy that emerged in the second month of his first term and has since been pursued by his Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood. LaHood has made no secret of his contempt for America’s suburbs and automobiles and seeks policies that would compel Americans to return to lifestyles common to the late 19th century... when most American’s lived in dense communities, were renters, and moved about by walking.