The housing industry is a vital element of not only Idaho’s, but the entire nation’s economy. Literally thousands of products are used in home construction, from the lumber and nails used to build to the insurance and financing companies that make ownership possible. Unfortunately the sub-prime mortgage problems have pushed the housing industry into a crisis. Last year foreclosures jumped up 75 percent nationwide and nearly twice that in Idaho.

The nation faced a similar crisis in the 1970’s. Back then, like it is now, the real estate market was flooded with a surplus of homes for sale. Lawmakers stepped in and approved the Tax Reduction Act of 1975, which provided a $2,000 tax credit for three years to homebuyers who bought up the homes on the market. It wasn’t too long before the “For Sale