Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Stigma of Renting.

As Congress continues to work with disgraced financial officers, it's easy to get lost in the jargon and lose interest.  But, as Barney Frank pointed out yesterday, there is an social undercurrent to this crisis that fueled the expansion of the housing bubble and is worth a quick note.

All segments of the financial industry and Congress are, in part, to blame for the housing crisis. However, the consumers that were either duped or lied to themselves felt an overwhelming pressure to get into a home that they owned.  Congressionally funded programs like HUD were setting ambitious goals for homeownership which contributed to the broad social migration into unaffordable homes.

In the past 6-8 years, renting has become a lifestyle of a second-class citizen.  In order to stimulate the economy and prevent the mistakes of the past, as Mr. Frank suggests, the new administration must invest in repairs to crumbling public rental units, and begin to change the public lens with which we all view homeownership in the United States.  


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