Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

Community Investments Vol 21, Issue 2
Sustaining Homeownership: The Experience of City-Based Affordable Homeownership Programs

Author(s):

Summer 2009

Community Investments

The recent surge in mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures has sparked a renewed debate over the government’s role in promoting homeownership, particularly among low-income and minority borrowers. Increasingly, questions are emerging about the benefits of homeownership for lower-income households. Commentators on the crisis note that homeownership is not for everyone, and argue that efforts to expand homeownership opportunities for lower-income households are misguided at best. The most vocal of critics have argued that government programs designed to expand access to credit and homeownership, such as the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the affordable housing goals established for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, helped to precipitate the current subprime meltdown.

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