Among the ideas in that speech (as well as in a report to Congress in January): rent-to-own properties.
"Rent-to-own provisions, which would give existing tenants the option to purchase their properties during their tenancies, might facilitate the transition of some renters back to the owner-occupied market," the report says. "Such provisions may also reduce costs by encouraging renters to maintain their properties to a greater extent."
Commercial banks and savings and loans in the U.S. own more than $11 billion in housing stock, a share of the marketplace referred to as real estate owned, or REO, properties. Bernanke supports the idea that a share of these creditor-owned properties be offered as "rent-to-own" properties rather than linger on the open market.