WASHINGTON — What seems like a no-brainer — turning the hundreds of thousands of vacant, foreclosed homes controlled by the federal government into rental units — is going to be tough to accomplish.

The logic behind the idea is compelling. Across the country today, the federal government controls around 250,000 foreclosed homes, through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration. More than a million more are in the foreclosure pipeline, with homeowners having fallen well behind on their mortgage payments.

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