Homeownership and Stable Housing

Vista Casas Viejo SJOwning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Home ownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes. Two-thirds of all U.S. households who own their home currently are enjoying these benefits. The positive social benefits from home ownership and stable housing are compelling. There is evidence from numerous studies that attest to the benefits accruing to many segments of society. Home ownership boosts the educational performance of children, induces higher participation in civic and volunteering activity, improves health care outcomes, lowers crime rates and lessens welfare dependency. Owning a home is different from renting. With the home purchase come the pride of ownership and the sense of belonging in a community where one has a financial stake in the neighborhood.


Perhaps, homeowners are “happier” just from having achieved the so-called “American Dream” a sense of accomplishment, a milestone. Also, ownership entails greater individual responsibility. Home ownership requires a large (if not the largest) financial outlay of a person’s life and often requires the responsibility of a mortgage spanning 30 years. Therefore, it is a long-term commitment, which may alter human behavior. Given such an opportunity, public policy makers would be wise to consider the immense social benefits of home ownership for families, local communities and the nation.