Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The homeownership ideology

I am thankful we have not had the same extent of poor lending decisions for homeowners as the US has had. However, this article by Dean Baker highlights the ideological basis that propels many into unsound mortgages.

I particularly like this part:

Of course only an ideologue would view homeownership as an end in itself. One of
the reasons that millions of families face foreclosure and/or the loss of their
life savings is that the ideologues of homeownership continued to promote
homeownership even when it was clear that buying a home would be financially

I don't agree with Dean Baker all the time but on this point I'm 100% behind him:

In the interest of promoting better housing policy in the future it is important
to have a public acknowledgement of the follies of homeownership ideology. We
don't have a bottomless pit of money to satisfy their perverse ideology. If
homeownership does not make economic sense, then we should not tell people to
sacrifice healthcare and other essential needs to make the ideologues happy.
It's time to force some honesty into the discussion of housing policy - renting
sometimes make sense.

If a mortgagee sale house is empty, does a chicken coming back home to roost make a sound?

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