Driving through Riverside, California, Bruce Norris pointed to a half-dozen empty houses with “For Sale” signs stuck in untended lawns that he said investors might buy if banks would just extend some credit.

“People today look at us as the enemy,” said Norris, 57, head of Riverside-based Norris Group, which purchases and renovates homes to rent or sell. “That’s a big problem for housing because if we can’t get the financing we need, a lot of these properties are going to sit vacant.”

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