Does anyone remember hearing about the "housing shortage"?

CLEVELAND - Judge Raymond Pianka views his courtroom as the emergency room of the foreclosure crisis. Weary of lenders and wholesalers who don’t show up to answer to housing code violations like unsecured doors and windows on foreclosed properties, he began holding trials without them. He’s put 12 companies on trial in absentia and has fined most, leaving each unable to sell any properties in the area until it pays up.

Rust Belt cities, already beaten down by a miserable economy before foreclosures began spiraling nationally, are moving to cut the number of houses left vacant when the mortgage can’t be paid. At stake are valuable tax dollars and the survival of neighborhoods. County treasurers and mayors are filing lawsuits and developing land banks to buy distressed properties and either demolish them or repair and sell them. Buffalo, N.Y., brings property owners and lenders together in court on monthly “Bank Days” to find solutions for cleaning up vacant homes.