I have not studied the non-tax aspects, but Kay Bell points out in her post “Housing Bill -- and New Homeowner Tax Breaks -- Back on Track” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES that there are those “who contend it's simply a handout to irresponsible homeowners and unscrupulous lenders”. I expect that it is a typical Congressional reaction and not a thoughtful response to the problem.
On the 1040 front the bill includes a $7,500 tax credit for first-time homebuyers – which in this case means taxpayers buying their first-ever residence as well as those who haven't owned a home for at least three years. The tax break will apply to those who purchase a home between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009 – so it will be available on the 2008 Form 1040. The full amount of the credit will only be available to individuals with incomes under $75,000 or couples earning less than $150,000, and it appears the credit will have to be paid back, interest-free, over 15 years.
I have read that the bill also includes a special $500 property tax deduction for single homeowners, and $1,000 for joint filers, for those who do not itemize deductions on Schedule A.
Once George W signs the final bill I will provide more detailed information.