The collapse of the housing bubble need not destroy homeownership as the anchor of the middle class. But we need much bolder government action.
After more than 70 years of steady and remarkable success, America’s housing and homeownership policies have been rocked by the rise of subprime lending, the financial sector’s subsequent collapse, and the millions of resulting mortgage delinquencies, defaults, and foreclosures. Housing continues to be a drag on the recovery. The confidence Americans once had in home-ownership as a path to family wealth has been shaken. And a backward conservative narrative has capitalized on regulatory and market failures to launch an all-out assault on any government role in housing. Progressives and advocates for families and communities are struggling to make sense of the wreckage and are asking themselves what future housing policies should look like.