Can the government help speed along this process? Maybe. But the first order is definitely making sure that we don't do the market any further harm. For example, any plan in which the government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) retain ownership of the homes while renting them out just seems nonsensical. These homes will presumably have to be ultimately sold, so continued direct ownership perpetuates shadow inventory which undermines buyer confidence in price stability. The rentals will also directly compete with private investors who bought distressed properties in hopes of capitalizing on strong rental demand. Instead these investors would be thrown into competition with the GSEs.

The writer has a point. There is really no function of a Fannie/Freddie rental "grand plan" unless it somehow produces a more-optimal-then-usual outcome where distressed/foreclosed homeowners get a chance to stay in their homes (as well as satisfies the balance sheet needs of the GSEs, and the desire of private investors to make money). So look for that. If you don't see it, you'll know this whole deal is a sleazefest.

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