Immigration and the Housing Crisis

Can immigration help fix some of the problems with the housing crisis?  The government thinks that it can.   Two Senators are preparing to introduce a bipartisan bill that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to buy houses in the U.S.

Here is an article from the L.A. Times:

In essence, the government is making a sensible move in allowing people to buy their way into the United States in a mutually beneficial fashion.    “Many people want to come and live in the United States,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who introduced the legislation Thursday along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). “They will be here spending money and paying taxes, and the most important thing is they’ll sop up the extra supply of homes we have right now compared to demand, and that’s what’s dragging our economy down.”

The legislation would create a new homeowner visa that would be renewable every three years, but the proposal would not put them on a path to citizenship. To be eligible, a person would have to buy a primary residence of at least $250,000 and spend a total of $500,000 on residential real estate. The other properties could be rented.

We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the bill.   The one question that I have is how this will affect the investment visas already in place for foreigners that want to invest in US companies.  Will this deflect that money just for real estate purchases?  And if so is that a better choice than the current systems already in place.  Preliminarily, I believe it will be a faster and easier process to inject money into the US economy; long term I am unsure.