Earlier this week I gave an interview to a foreign news service that will ultimately be aired in Arabic. While I may not yet be fluent in that particular language, my responses translate into answers we've been grappling with in the housing industry for the last several years.
In responding to the reporter's question of whether or not the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) will be ultimately successful - one needs to realize that it isn't a one size fits all solution. It definitely is helping a certain segment  of the population, and will benefit an even greater amount down the road. However there are a sizable number of potential homebuyers that will not qualify.    
The current economic crisis, which the instability of housing markets definitely contributed to, will require more than just government intervention. The modification programs will definitely play a part in the recovery - don't get me wrong - but if we're to fully recover the private sector will have to play a role in it, and we'll need to have renewed confidence investing in the marketplace. 
There have been tremendous efforts by both the Bush and Obama Administrations - as well as laws passed by Congress - to keep people who are drowning in late mortgage payments to remain in their homes. Foreclosures are also affecting renters at an increased rate, and the grim fact is that some people will still lose their homes, no matter what type of assistance is out there. 
In the 1990's when we had a very healthy period of growth, the housing market by and large paralleled  that era. In the next decade, when the housing market collapsed, so too did America's confidence in the overall economy, leading to the downward spiral we are currently experiencing. The sign that America's economic woes are behind us will be when the housing market rebounds. The two will be forever linked.