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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