We research, you save.
Got Questions On Rates? (855) 610-2972

The government should support owning and renting equally

WashingtonFor over half a decade, the Federal Reserve has played an active role in the mortgage market, both directly and indirectly influencing mortgage rates lower. But is that the type of housing support Americans are looking for from their government? Furthermore, do the American people want more or less government influence when it comes to housing?

Equal support

Nearly 60 percent of 1,355 U.S. adults who participated in the "How Housing Matters" survey, conducted April 8-14 by Hart Research Associates for the MacArthur Foundation, said they believed government should do more to ensure sufficient supplies of affordable quality housing.

Perhaps most surprisingly, this majority said they wanted the federal government to support both owning and renting equally.

The survey population was deliberately over-weighted with people who said they paid more than 30 percent of their income for housing in order to highlight the views of consumers whose housing situation might be considered "distressed."

In a statement, Hart Research Associates President Geoffrey Garin said this year's survey found that "Americans want a more even-handed approach to housing policy."

Unaffordable housing

More than 70 percent of respondents agreed with a statement that it was challenging for families living at or below the poverty level to find affordable quality housing.

Substantial proportions of respondents also agreed that finding such housing was challenging for families with average incomes (58 percent), young people new to the labor force (75 percent) and families with children who wanted to find housing near good-quality schools (60 percent).

Shifting stance on homeownership

The survey also found attitudes toward homeownership had shifted.

Forty-three percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that owning a home is "an excellent long-term investment and one of the best ways for people to build wealth and assets." Fifty-four percent said they believed buying a home was less appealing than it used to be.

Seventy percent of renters said they aspire to own a home, but 58 percent also said they believed "renters can be just as successful as owners at achieving the American Dream."

Housing-related sacrifices

More than half of the respondents said they had made at least one sacrifice to pay their rent or mortgage. "Housing affordability has driven a large share of the American people to make significant financial adjustments," Garin said.

Sacrifices included:

  • A second job
  • Deferred retirement savings
  • Less health care or healthy food
  • Higher credit-card debt
  • Moving to a neighborhood that was less safe or had lower-quality schools

Forty-seven percent of all respondents said their own housing situation wasn't stable and secure or hadn't been stable and secure at some time in the past. That figure was 56 percent among current renters in the survey population.

Should housing be a burden?

Julia M. Stasch, vice president of U.S. programs at MacArthur, said the survey provided "insight into the substantial burden of costly and unstable housing."

"It is clear," Stasch said, "that Americans believe more can and should be done to improve housing affordability for renters and owners, and that government should take action to invest in both equally."

The MacArthur Foundation is a public policy organization that supports human rights, global conservation, civic improvement and greater understanding of how technology affects children and society.

More help from HSH.com

  • Advantages of FHA mortgages in 2017

    FHA loans became more affordable in 2016, thanks to a drop in the annual mortgage insurance premium that the Federal Housing Administration charges. More cost reductions may be on the way in 2017, too.
  • Flex Modification: An outline of HAMP's replacement

    The Making Home Affordable Home Affordable Modification Program comes to an end on December 31, 2016, but is being replaced by a new Flex Modification program from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • VA Funding Fee: 5 facts you need to know

    One slight drawback of securing a VA loan is that borrowers often have to pay a fee, known as the “VA Funding Fee.” Here are five facts you need to know about the VA Funding Fee and how it works.
  • FHA Streamline Refinance offers are real and worth exploring

    FHA Streamline Refinancing is real, and so are the benefits. In a FHA streamline refinance transaction, you home isn't subject to an appraisal and there is no income, credit score or employment verification.

No Comments

Leave a Comment
Mortgage Rates from 0.00%
CUSTOMIZED RATESfrom lenders in your area
In Seconds
Select mortgage purpose below
New Home
Type of Property
Single Family
Condo minium
Your Credit Rating?
Property State?
*required field
See My Match
You're almost there...
Processing your information