Homeownership is widely regarded as a major benefit to American society. Homeowners can develop wealth, stability, and a sense of pride. Neighborhoods with high homeownership rates are typically more stable communities that have more reinvestment. The American Dream suggests that if you work hard and play by the rules, homeownership should be within your reach.
This is just not true for millions of Americans.
The National Housing Conference estimated that nearly one in four working households were “severely cost-burdened” (spending over 50% of income on housing) in 2009. It should come as no surprise that many of these severely-burdened homeowners are at significant risk of foreclosure. A weak job market hasn’t helped, and some studies suggest that most of the jobs recently added probably wont be able to find affordable housing options based on income. What once felt like realizing the American Dream has quickly become an economic catastrophe for many.
I hope to blog about affordable housing issues as I learn more throughout the spring. I encourage you to check out the links below to learn more. Please let me know what you think!
For further reading:
Urban Institute & Brookings Institution – “Rethinking Local Affordable Housing Strategies”