Friday Five: Flood Insurance, the Fight for the Mortgage Deduction, and More

Got 5 minutes? Here’s your weekly summary of the housing issues affecting you.

It was another crazy week for home owners: The U.S. House of Representatives voted to renew the National Flood Insurance Program — so far only through Nov. 18 — and housing experts testified to Senate members about the importance of mortgage interest deduction. Here are key home ownership headlines and highlights of the week:

MSN Money: Whew! Flood Insurance Still Available
It was yet another punt by Congress: Elected officials in Washington, D.C., failed to pass a bill reforming the National Flood Insurance Program this week. However, they extended the program until Nov. 18, giving them time to close a deal that reportedly has support from both parties.

Wall Street Journal: We Can’t Ignore Housing Anymore
There’s the foreclosure mess, the underwater mortgage mess, the tight mortgage lending standards and all the rest. There’s displaced construction workers. There’s consumers unwilling to spend as their perceived real estate wealth evaporates. There’s housing, traditionally the leader out of recession, still generally in decline, and harder to ignore.

Houselogic: 9 Ways to Solve the Housing Crisis
Industry experts and lawmakers met in Washington this week to share ideas for kick-starting the housing market.

USA Today: More Parents Finance Their Kids’ Mortgages 
If financing a family mortgage was a savvy strategy in 1991, the logic is even more compelling now. Returns from the types of low-risk investments favored by retirees are tiny. Mortgage rates also are at record lows, but tight lending standards have made it impossible for many young home buyers to take advantage of them. For Baby Boomers who are unwilling to risk their money in the stock market, financing a child’s mortgage “is an opportunity to create a win-win.”

Charleston Post & Courier: Federal Action Key to Real Estate crisis, Recovery
From the mortgage interest deduction to lending regulations and flood insurance, Washington holds the reins right now and the next 100 days could be a critical time for getting the housing market back on track.