Urban Real Estate Gets a Boost Over 'Burbs With New Obama Program

Are you trying to decide between buying a cozy house in town or a big place in a new subdivision? Today the Obama administration went public with a program that will help make the first choice the much better bet to hold its value over the long term.

It's called the Partnership for Sustainable Communities
, and the idea behind it is to encourage real estate investment near mass transit. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Transportation are teaming up for the first time to make it happen. Altogether, they'll be giving local governments around the country $175 million this year to make the necessary preparations.

That's not a lot of money, but it could be the beginning of a sea change in how the government influences the real estate market.