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The Irreplaceable Opportunity of Homeownership: A Rental Society Is Not the Answer

By John Taylor: President and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition

Some have recently suggested that in the wake of the housing foreclosure crisis, America should become a society whose housing is more centered on rental units than homeownership. A move in that direction would be a mistake.

One of the persistent and unfortunate myths of the housing crisis is that a push to expand homeownership was culpable for the housing crash. This is plainly and demonstrably false. In fact, the vast majority of the bad loans that got us into trouble and led to the foreclosure crisis and the great recession were refinances or loans to people who were already homeowners. Unfortunately, this misplaced blame has given wake to arguments in some quarters that the government should get out of mortgage finance altogether, and that housing industry must now turn to offering rentals for more Americans.

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