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WSU Newsline: Bailout may or may not be the answer to housing crisis
Monday, April 21, 2008 11:34 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs. If you have additional questions for Stan Longhofer after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact him at (316) 978-7120 or stan.longhofer@wichita.edu.

Background:

Is a federal bailout or stimulus plan needed to help ease the housing crisis? Stan Longhofer, director of the Center for Real Estate at Wichita State University, puts the issue into perspective.

Voice wrap:

Announcer: A number of congressional lawmakers are calling for a robust government bailout to save the housing market, homeowners and financial markets. Stan Longhofer, director of the Center for Real Estate at Wichita State University, suggests a cautious approach in dealing with the current housing crisis.

Longhofer: "I think the current situation makes it worth considering doing something to help troubled homeowners. But I think you have to be very careful that you don't create new regulations, or you create a bailout plan that's going to create more problems in the future."

Announcer: How will the housing crisis affect the local housing market? Longhofer believes certain types of financing that were very prevalent over the past several years will not be as available. So homebuyers who have very little money for a down payment, and may have marginal credit, will find it much harder to get loans. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1

Longhofer says we're seeing a housing crisis in multiple regions of the country at the same time. The sound bite is 27 seconds and the outcue is "of the economy."

Longhofer: "We've seen regional housing market busts in the past — California in the mid-1990s with the defense cutbacks, New England in the late 1980s, the oil bust in Texas — so we've seen regional housing market busts. What's different this time is that we're seeing it across multiple regions at the same time. And we're also seeing the housing market problems spill over into other areas of the economy."

Sound bite #2

Longhofer talks about the local impact of the housing crisis. The sound bite is 18 seconds and the outcue is "to get loans."

Longhofer: "I think a big impact we'll see locally here is that certain types of financing that were very prevalent over the last several years are now not as available. So homebuyers who have very little money for a down payment and may have marginal credit, they're going to find it much harder to get loans."

Sound bite #3

Longhofer talks about the conditions that could lead to a federal bailout. The sound bite is 31 seconds and the outcue is "footing the bill as well."

Longhofer: "If the only people affected are speculators who bought houses in a bubble market and now they're going into foreclosure, we wouldn't think of a bailout. Even if it was people who made poor financial decisions, and they overextended themselves, we still wouldn't be thinking of a bailout. The concern is that these problems have become so widespread that they may begin to envelop other people who had no bad decisions, they really weren't involved in this, and now they're being stuck footing the bill as well."

Sound bite #4

Longhofer provides an analogy to explain the current housing crisis. The sound bite is 19 seconds and the outcue is "without some help."

Longhofer: "One way of thinking of it is that if we have a tornado that hits one house, we don't typically provide disaster assistance for that homeowner. That's why they had homeowner's insurance. If the tornado comes through and wipes out an entire town, however, the whole infrastructure is wiped out and there really isn't the base around people to be able to rebuild without some help."

Sound bite #5

Longhofer says we haven't seen anything like this housing market crisis since the Great Depression. The sound bite is 23 seconds and the outcue is "of this magnitude."

Longhofer: "We really haven't seen anything like the housing market crisis that we've seen for the past year since the Great Depression, and that really is the last time when there was serious talk of having some bailouts for individual homeowners. Now I don't think that means that the situation we're in is analogous to the Great Depression, but that's the most recent time you can point to something of this magnitude."

Sound bite #6

Longhofer says there will be a temptation for Congress to take action, but most of the solutions are laws already on the books. The sound bite is 20 seconds and the outcue is "new regulations."

Longhofer: "I think the current situation makes it worth considering doing something to help troubled homeowners. But I think you have to be very careful that you don't create new regulations or you create a bailout plan that's going to create more problems in the future."

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Contact: Stan Longhofer, (316) 978-7120 or stan.longhofer@wichita.edu.