Attempts at Relief and Reform

Right to Rent?

Posted on Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Two House Democrats have introduced a bill to create a “right to rent” for homeowners facing foreclosure. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Arizona) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), would allow a family receiving a foreclosure notice to petition a judge to stay in their home as renters under a 5-year lease. The judge would appoint an independent appraiser to set fair market rental value, which would be allowed to rise with inflation. Proponents say Right to Rent is a fair and sensible solution for struggling homeowners. Banks will still get reliable rental income, and families will be able to stay in their homes and significantly lower their monthly housing costs…Passing this bill will help neighborhoods avoid the spiral of decay, crime, and lower property values that often follows mass vacancies without creating any new bureaucracy or transferring a dime of taxpayer money to homeowners or banks. To prevent use of the program by speculators, eligibility for the “right to rent” initiative would be limited to homes purchased at or below the median price for their metropolitan statistical area, and must have been the homeowner’s principal residence for no less than 2 years. Only mortgages originated before July 1, 2007 would be eligible


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