A local r.e. speaker who I know recently wrote this story on housing & tax codes.
I'll stay on the realtor side, and leave the economists and those steeped in the arcane tax codes of our country debate how to best get to a solution. But from a realtor perspective, it seems that many people are unable to sell, which hurts them financially (though I will stay away from who got hurt and who got taken care of in the housing meltdown), but also has been detrimental to entire neighborhoods.
Surely there is blame to go around all over, but I do believe that if tax laws were more encouraging, those homes and those homeowners who are unable to take action at the moment would be selling their homes to people who can afford to hold & maintain them.
At the risk of opening up a debate with no clear cut answers, do you see a role for the government in this solution? I shudder as I ask the question, because I'd rather Uncle Sam stayed away from this and so many other issues, but this may be the best of less than optimal alternatives.