According to the U.S. Census there are 132,232,000 homes in the US – 18,843,000 (nearly 19 million) are vacant.
Government should not be in the business of guaranteeing mortgages – that’s what banks are for, and government should have broad regulations against fraud. When the Government promises to pay a mortgage if the homeowner doesn’t, there’s no consequence to the bank for a faulty credit decision. Without any consequence banks have little incentive to be thorough in their lending practices. Hence financial meltdowns.
This bad policy dates to the New Deal, and changing this fundamental policy that every President since Roosevelt has enthusiastially endorsed doesn’t seem like a productive way to address the issues. Government shouldn’t be in the mortgage business, but it is now and it will be for the foreseeable future.