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What role should government play?

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The Obama administration is gathering public opinion on how to improve the housing finance system, including the operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the federal government's role in the system. The Treasury Department released questions last week seeking comment from the public, including market participants, industry groups, academic experts, and consumer and community organizations, in order to achieve a "stronger," "more stable and sound" housing finance system. Participants will be able to respond to the seven questions online at and at a series of public forums to be held nationwide. The details about these forums haven't yet been announced. Inman News asked real estate professionals to weigh in on some of these questions posed in the Treasury Department announcement. Responses to one of those questions follows, and other questions will be addressed in subsequent articles. (See "How to fix housing policy.") What role sh...