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'Evil'-Doers Target Stimulus Housing Credits

Today’s roundup of stimulus coverage:

With just over a month left in a tax break program for first-time home-buyers, The Wall Street Journal reports that the IRS is looking at more than 100,000 suspicious claims for the $8,000 tax credit. "Any time there is a lot of money around, there is going to be people attracted to it with evil intent," a Realtor association spokesman told the Journal. The measure, which is part of the stimulus package, is set to end Nov. 30, although housing-industry lobbyists are doing their best to see it extended.

In other housing news, a report released today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that new housing starts last month were lower than expected. The Business Insider reports that September’s lower rates could be an indication of a "stimulus hangover" to come once the first-time home-buyer tax credit ends. Our suggestion? Advil before bed, and greasy food in the morning.

Are you tracking the stimulus? ProPublica has set up a mailing list for reporters covering the stimulus, and you’re welcome to join. Just e-mail us.

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