Senators reach deal on housing package 

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Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. have reached a deal to aid
homeowners and stabilize the housing market. A bill would offer a new
tax break for homeowners who do not itemize their deductions: a
standard property tax deduction of $1,000 for couples and $500 for
individuals. The bill would also give tax breaks to people who buy
foreclosed homes and to struggling developers. Local housing agencies
would receive $10 billion in tax-exempt bonds to refinance subprime
loans and provide new mortgages for first-time home buyers. Local
governments would receive money to buy foreclosed properties and expand
counseling for homeowners at risk of defaulting.  

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