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The Fed's Chicagoland Holdings

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This kind of information helps one appreciate the benefits inherent in the Federal plan to convert foreclosures to rentals: The Chicago area is near the top in the number of government owned houses for sale. The city has 900, and the entire area somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000. A few other cities are keeping us company and Atlanta is tops with about 5,000, according to a recent Federal Reserve report dissected by Crain's. Funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program has fallen woefully short of what's needed to handle the pace and scale of foreclosures. The report didn't take the time to present the numbers as a percentage of local housing stock which, when listed alongside much smaller cities, makes Chicago's situation appear worse than it is. But the consensus is we could use some help. Another sticking point: Renting is easy; finding good property management is not. [Crain's]