Book | August 2012
Regaining the Dream: How to Renew the Promise of Homeownership for America’s Working Families
A new book by UNC Center for Community Capital researchers tells what really caused the foreclosure crisis and recommends how to rebuild the U.S. housing finance system to ensure broad access to mortgage credit while minimizing risk.
Millions of Americans have lost their homes since the start of the Great Recession. By the middle of 2010, 4.6 percent of U.S. home mortgages were in foreclosure, three times the rate seen at the height of the Great Depression.
In Regaining the Dream: How to Renew the Promise of Homeownership for America’s Working Families (Brookings Institution Press, 2011), UNC Center for Community Capital researchers Roberto G. Quercia, Allison Freeman and Janneke Ratcliffe tell what really caused the foreclosure crisis and recommend how to rebuild the U.S. housing finance system to ensure broad access to mortgage credit while minimizing risk.
The book shares the findings of a decade-long study of nearly 50,000 low-income homeowners who received traditional 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with a small down payment.
Today, 95% of those homeowners are still paying their mortgages and staying in their homes.
These working families tell a tremendous success story, and the data points to a way out of the housing crisis and toward a stronger economy. Correctly structured, home loans to low-income households perform quite well, leading to both sustainable homeownership and sound business opportunities for lenders. By expanding opportunities for sustainable homeownership, working families can move up the economic ladder, create mobility in the housing market and providing jobs and economic growth.