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Creating Pathways to Sustainable Homeownership That Builds and Retains Wealth

May 30, 2017

The challenges of achieving homeownership, particularly for lower- and moderate-income families, remain a perennial issue in housing policy. Yet our public policy discussions of these matters seem old and tired, especially in light of the devastation caused by the millions of foreclosures during the Great Recession. Policy debates seldom dwell on why we promote homeownership in the first place and whether our public policies are aligned with those objectives. Also, part of the staleness of our debate is that such discussions often become arguments about how to bend underwriting standards to encourage homeownership. We ought to be thinking instead about the process of moving from renting to owning, how we help families prepare to be successful homeowners.