Authors: Michael Collins
March 1, 2002
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
This paper attempts to provide an overview of U.S. housing policies related to homeownership, an analysis of the barriers to homeownership, and background on pressing federal policies, programs, and regulations that could be refined to better support homeownership. As the Millennial Housing Commission considers recommendations regarding federal homeownership policy, several issues are paramount:
-- What more can the federal government do to encourage and support homeownership?
-- What can the federal government do to encourage innovations in the mortgage market, while adequately protecting consumers?
--What can the federal government do to help ensure that mortgage borrowers understand the rights and responsibilities of homeownership and are prepared to assume them?
-- What can the federal government do to encourage the production and preservation of homes affordable to those with lower-incomes?
Based on interviews with leading practitioners, focus groups and other research, a series of policy changes is explored. Generally, policy prescriptions can be grouped into three categories: expanding the reach of mortgage markets for sustainable homeownership;&bsp;educating and protecting consumers engaged in mortgage and home equity markets; and producing and preserving units suitable for affordable homeownership.