2004
Publication:
Kumarian Press
What, if any, is the role of housing microfinance in the United States? Despite its relative efficacy, there are certain fundamental weaknesses that afflict the U.S. housing system -- and many of these weaknesses can be best addressed through a systemic and customized application of housing microfinance. Mainstream housing finance in the United States, while sophisticated, fails to address the needs of a large section of the population, especially those at the lower levels of the socioeconomic strata. For all practical purposes, the United States seems to have a dual housing finance market -- a sophisticated array of products and services for the well-to-do and bankable population, and a more constricted range of options often marked by predatory conditions for the low- to moderate-income population, especially those considered unbankable. The key role and contribution of housing microfinance in the United States will be to serve as the eraser of this dualism and the catalyst for a more equitable housing finance system. The document is one chapter from the book Housing Microfinance: A Guide to Practice. For a complete list of chapters and authors, visit the Kumarian Press Web site.
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