Vol. XXXVII No. 2

The Housing Market Cannot Fully Recover Without a Robust Rental Policy

Abstract: There is no one explanation for why access to mortgage credit remains so tight this far into the housing recovery, nor is there a consensus on why our national homeownership rate has fallen to a fifty-year low, but one thing is clear: the homeownership and rental markets are two sides of the same coin. As such, policymakers must understand that pressures and problems in one have implications for the other. As we disentangle and address the interwoven causes of our credit access and homeownership challenges, we do have a set of affordable rental policies and programs, proven effective and informed by ongoing research and best-practice executions. Free from legacy obligations, and with fresh eyes, new ideas, and a modest investment, the new administration has a tremendous opportunity to meet our most urgent affordable rental needs right out of the block. What should constitute that package of policies and programs is the focus of this article.

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