New "Right to Rent" Bill Will Help Millions of American Families Stay in their Homes and Stabilize Communities

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Alan Barber, (202) 293-5380 x115

New "Right to Rent" Bill Will Help Millions of American Families Stay in their Homes and Stabilize Communities

Legislation will boost the economy while costing no taxpayer dollars

WASHINGTON - "Right
to Rent" is one of the most efficient and simple ways to help millions
of families facing foreclosure remain in their homes, said national
housing experts across the political spectrum in Congressional
testimony earlier this week.  The following day, a new "Right to Rent"
bill was introduced in the House of Representatives.
 
The Right to Rent concept was originated by Dean Baker,
co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.  It would
increase the bargaining power and security of homeowners by temporarily
changing the rules on foreclosure and allowing homeowners to remain in
their homes as renters for a substantial period or time.  During this
time, homeowners would pay the market rent for the home as determined
by an independent assessment.

"Right to Rent immediately gives the homeowner security in their home.
They will be allowed to stay there for a substantial period of time,
allowing their children to stay in their schools and families to
prepare for and plan their future moves," said Baker in his testimony
on Wednesday. "Right to Rent also would make foreclosure much less
attractive to investors. This gives investors more incentive to modify
loans on their own, without the involvement of the government."

The following day, "The Right to Rent Act of 2010" was introduced by
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), which would
allow homeowners whose homes have been foreclosed to stay in their
homes at a fair market rent for up to five years.  "The latest
statistics on foreclosures and mortgage delinquency rates are an
indication of the profound, historic crisis we face and the need for
creative solutions like Right to Rent," said Rep. Grijalva.

In addition to progressive economists such as Baker and newspapers such as the New York Times,
Right to Rent is endorsed by conservative economists such as Arnold
Kling and Andrew Samwick.  Kling, adjunct scholar at the Cato
Institute, added his voice in support "Right to Rent" during the
question period of Wednesday's Congressional hearing.

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The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.

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