This is often used as a tool of government to spark the economy back to health. It is usually done through a web of increasing the size of government programs, adding more government projects, hiring more officials, as well as targeted tax credits to generally a select group of American citizens.
The problem with this is that it is taking from the future to spend today. The government does not need to stimulate the economy to get it moving again. What they actually need to do is nothing. Yes nothing. The reason there is an economic downturn is because there was prior economic excess and the system needs to correct. Now corrections, if left alone in a sound economy, happen rather quickly. But put in government interference and they can drag on and on.
The government doesn't need to incentivize home buying. The reason the home market is suffering is because it was so over heated and prices rose at an absurd rate. There needs to be a correction, and a rather significant one. Housing prices should be allowed to fall to a price at which they begin to sell again, that might be 10% or 50% or 80%. Your house is not worth what is was in 2006, it never should have been worth that and it was government stimulus and easy credit that allowed that environment to occur. Governments need to embrace free markets, low taxes and a sound financial system. The rest will take care of itself and there will be far more prosperity for most than letting government try and run it.