Federal Efforts To Help Homeowners May Be Strangling Them

By | October 15, 2013

Oddly enough, recent government efforts to cut struggling homeowners some slack may in fact be hurting many more than it is helping.  Specifically, it is negatively impacting those who don’t yet own a home – those first-time homebuyers who would like to attain the American Dream – that of homeownership.

The U.S. has had nearly a century’s worth of national policies designed to encourage homeownership – going back to Herbert Hoover.  Yet, a recent string of reports has presented some troubling news about the future of homeownership and asset building, given the trends over the past several years. Taking a comprehensive look at the housing finance landscape leads one to the conclusion that many of the policies we are pursuing as a nation are having the unintended consequence of reducing the ranks of homeowners in the United States.

After the bubble of 2007, some might think homeownership isn’t as worthy a goal as it used to be.  Marketing pitches involving this subject might seem very yesteryear, harkening back to an America that no longer exists: a happy nuclear family sitting on the front steps of a modest and neatly kept home with a yard and a dog — in short, model and content citizens. While our demographics as a nation may have changed, one thing has not: various studies have shown that homeownership comes with a multitude of benefits — homeowners have better health and increased educational attainment, and homeownership has been shown to correlate with more taxes paid, a higher voting rate, and increased family net worth. (Forbes)

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