New Orleans Shaun Donovan at HUD is clearly having problems getting his arms around the fact that America is not New York, the evidence starting with the horrible failure of the mortgage modification program or rather the lack of a mortgage modification program. Now throwing more words at the housing crises this weekend in pronouncements he reheated the money transfer scheme to the states for unemployed borrowers, postponing rather than solving problems, and talked about something with the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) about refinancing, details unknown.
I’m going to sign up for bringing back support for the 1st time home buyers program that ended in April even though it is a tax credit of $8000 rather than direct support at the point of sale, which would really get the sales charts soaring in the dead-in-the-water real estate market. So far other than bailout and boost up banks, the Administration hasn’t had much success with anything else in the housing field and fall is usually not the hot season for sales in that industry with winter’s bite not far away in many markets.
Driving down Franklin Avenue returning from visiting the Mom yesterday afternoon, I was surprised by the number of for sale signs on this street where a ridge and houses built higher off the avenue had allowed recovery more quickly in the midst of the Gentilly deluge. A betting man would believe that the prices are still based more on wishes than reality, but I’m not sure who would take the plunge even on Franklin where an ex-Mayor of New Orleans is one of the neighbors without a little bit of love from the federales. Milne Boys’ Home, where Louis Armstrong was partially raised during its time as an orphanage, continues to sit in sullen scandal with blue tarps flying frayed as the flags on Franklin, but there’s good news even there as several million was announced recently to finally rebuild.
Something has to move the inventory here and elsewhere, and at least the 1st time homeowners program is something even HUD knows how to handle.