From the Washington Post’s story “HUD Chief Calls Aid on Mortgages A Failure“, FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery was quoted:
“There were two philosophies on the Hill: Let’s throw the barn door open and help as many people as we can regardless of the reasons. Or we need to make them pay because they should have known what they were doing,” Montgomery said. “They found some middle philosophical ground, but that philosophical middle ground made [the program] unworkable.”
Earlier in the same article Steve Preston, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is attributed with saying that the program is “too expensive and onerous for lenders and borrowers alike”.
From that indication, it sounds to me like the problem with the program is not that it is stuck in some “philisophical middle ground” but, rather, that people need/expect/are waiting for/are hoping for the government to “throw the barn door open” and start putting real money to the residential housing sector before they take advantage of these programs, for better or worse.
Hat tip to Calculated Risk.