We are in the midst of one of the greatest economic crises in our country's history - a crisis that began one lousy mortgage at a time. But in spite of the almost quarter of a million families here in the Commonwealth who are underwater in their mortgages and the 45,000 families who have lost their homes through foreclosures, we still haven't seen swift and serious action to get the housing market working again.

We can't restart our economy unless we do more to address our housing challenges. As people see foreclosure on the horizon or find themselves underwater, they are less likely to spend - and that is bad for businesses and for the economy as a whole. People can't move, whether it is to get to a new job or to trade up or trade down for a house that fits their changing circumstances.  

We need a housing policy that fires on all cylinders: principal write downs, refinancing options for homes that are underwater, cash for keys, short sales. We have to take serious and hard steps to get this housing market to level out so that we can start rebuilding our economy. That's true here in Massachusetts and around the country.