Why Congress Should Care About Middle Class Home Ownership

Steve BrownIn a May 21 article appearing in Roll Call, 2014 NAR President Steve Brown urged Congress to embrace policies that will stem the decline in middle class home ownership.

“For decades, the purchase of a first home was the hallmark of middle class arrival and the foundation of financial security for aspiring families,” Brown said in his commentary, Middle-Class Home Ownership Must Be a Bipartisan Priority. “Steadily growing home ownership rates were seen as a proxy for the nation’s progress in making the American Dream a reality for as many Americans as possible. Moreover, broad-based home ownership exemplified the uniquely American sentiment that ordinary people could control their own destinies and move ahead through hard work and responsibility.”

Today, the rate of home ownership in the United States stands at 65 percent, the lowest it has been in nearly two decades, Brown said. He called on Congress to preserve the mortgage interest deduction; take prudent steps to improve credit availability, address the student-loan debt crisis, and provide national leadership on promoting home ownership.

  • Read Brown’s commentary.
  • Read about an April 2014 Gallup poll showing that Americans value home ownership as a long-term investment, more than stocks, bonds, savings—or even gold.
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