The worst housing crisis and economic crash since the Great Depression threaten to destroy thousands of shared-ownership communities, such as condominiums, cooperatives and homeownership associations, throughout the U.S. The danger is quiet, but staggering — more than 60,000,000 Americans live in SOCs, or almost 20% of the population.
Federal and state governments appear blissfully ignorant. It is critical that Congress take immediate action to prevent a collapse, beginning with tying bank bailouts to mandatory funding of assessments on units for which lenders hold mortgages, even while foreclosure proceedings are ongoing. In the short term, this may be unpleasant for the banks; but the long-term financial damage that will be caused by owning property in thousands of abandoned communities will be far greater.