Though the housing market has gone through its share of ups and downs in recent years, when it comes to attitudes regarding homeownership, there appears to be one constant for most Americans. They still consider that owning a home is very much a part of the American Dream.
Homeownership is a cherished ideal for most American families, who understand that it promotes social stability and is critical in creating wealth and providing financial security.
Numerous national surveys have confirmed these findings. A National Association of Home Builders poll conducted earlier this year found that 74 percent of the respondents said that owning a home is worth the risk of the fluctuations in the market and 68 percent who are not currently home owners said that owning a home is one of their goals.
Further, a poll released this spring by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars found that voters also placed a very high importance on homeownership and that 84 percent felt that homeownership was more or just as important as it was five years ago.
Housing and homeownership are also critical to a strong and prosperous nation. In normal economic times, more than 17 percent of the nation’s economy relies on housing. Building 100 homes creates more than 300 full-time jobs and generates millions of dollars in federal, state and local tax revenues that support local schools and communities.
Despite the many benefits that homeownership provides for families, its potential to create millions of jobs and its value to the nation’s economy, it is under attack. Policymakers are pushing for sweeping tax code changes that could prevent millions of families from ever setting foot on the homeownership ladder.
Some of the proposals under consideration include eliminating or reducing the mortgage interest deduction and the deductions for property taxes and the interest on home equity loans. This would hurt those who have played by the rules and sacrificed to get to where they are today, and it would send shockwaves through the economy by further depressing home values. In turn, this would force more current home owners under water and increase the number of foreclosures while preventing potential home owners from getting a toehold in the market.
Some of the other threats to homeownership may be less visible, but certainly are no less damaging. Some members of Congress support abolishing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without offering a new framework for housing finance system reform that would avoid further disruptions to an already fragile housing finance system.
Even more disturbing is a push by some policymakers to end the federal backstop for housing. This would immediately drive up the cost of long-term financing and destabilize the housing market. A reliable supply of affordable 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage financing is essential to a vibrant housing market, and Congress should ensure that the federal government plays an appropriate role in keeping conventional fixed-rate home loans and adjustable rate mortgages readily available and affordable for America’s working families.
Those who believe it is important to send a message to their elected officials that homeownership must remain attainable and an important national priority are encouraged to go to www.ProtectHomeownership.com/RallyRegistration and register to attend a Rally for Homeownership that will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at O’Donnell Park, 910 E. Michigan St., in Milwaukee from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
David Belman, Belman Homes, Inc.
Don Belman, Belman Homes, Inc.
Carla Y. Cross, Cross Development Group, Inc.
Rod Demlang, Demlang Builders, Inc.
Susan Keel, CSP, CAPS, CCP, Advanced Communication Specialists
Ryan Krueger, L. H. Krueger and Son, Inc.
Ed Miller, E. Miller and Associates
Tim O’Brien, Tim O’Brien Homes
Joe Orendorf, Orendorf Custom Homes, LLC
David A. Rodrigues, Jr., David & Goliath Builders, Inc./DG Remodeling/Avid Homes, LLC
Ann A. Rodrigues, David & Goliath Builders, Inc./DG Remodeling/Avid Homes, LLC
Jonathan Schoenheider, Regency Homes
Mary L. Schroeder, Miller Custom Homes
John H. Stoker, The Victory Companies, Inc.