Ways To Resolve The Housing Crisis

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All over the United States, the housing bubble has burst. Particularly in the Northeast Ohio, area where I reside the affect is quite apparent. Declining housing values, vacant homes, and vandalism harm cities and school districts that all depend on the property tax revenue stream. As a former community development director and real estate agent, I have firsthand experience in the housing arena.

The real estate industry is a critical component in the United States’ economy. There are many jobs tied to the housing industry. Lumber sales, residential and commercial properties, title companies, escrow companies, builders, electricians, plumbers, lending institutions, etc. all play a part in a robust real estate market.

Property taxes supply a huge revenue stream for cities, libraries, parks, and school districts. Those taxes are based on the property value and of course, housing sales. The median sales price of single-family homes in most Cuyahoga County communities continued to decline in the first six months of 2008, compared with the same period a year ago. The price drops, especially in places like Cleveland and inner-ring suburbs, have largely resulted from an abundance of foreclosed homes in the market. The change in price has declined from 25% to 50% and even higher (Plain Dealer, 2009). The very high-end of Northeast Ohio’s real estate market began tampering off mid-summer of 2008. High-end home sales increased in 2007, while sales dropped 8 % in the rest of the market. In totality for all house price ranges, sales peaked in 2005 to 25,075 homes sold down to 13,488 sold in August 2008 (Northeast Ohio Multiple Listing Service, 2008).

The home foreclosure problem is massive. Therefore, many solutions will be necessar...

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...be allowed to place unqualified homeowners in housing that they cannot afford from day one. Standards for mortgage lending are imperative to sustain the housing market. Income versus debt ratios must be enforced along with down payment requirements. And lenders who violate mortgage loan requirements should face stiff penalties and/or jail time. The American economy is driven by supply and demand but it must operate in an ethical environment in order for real prosperity to occur.

The above are but a few suggestions to help with the foreclosure problem; however, organizations and government cannot do it alone. People coming together and helping one another is imperative for our country to get beyond this horrific financial period. Volunteering by the younger generation and senior population together can make a world of difference in many ways.
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