Mortgage Finance, Affordable Homeownership, Impacts of Homeownership
Book Chapter | May 2007

The Social-Psychological Effects of Affordable Homeownership

Chasing the American Dream
William M. Rohe, Roberto G. Quercia, Shannon Van Zandt

Researchers identify the factors associated with successfully buying a home; understanding these factors can help local homeownership counseling programs assist their clients more effectively.

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UNC Center for Community Capital researchers, in a chapter of Chasing the American Dream: New Perspectives on Affordable Homeownership (Cornell Press, 2007), discuss research into two areas:

  • The social-psychological impacts of buying a home on the lower-income buyers.
  • The proportion and characteristics of homeownership course graduates who go on to buy homes.

They find that affordable homeownership programs have positive, albeit, modest impacts on several social-psychological constructs, including life satisfaction, neighborhood satisfaction, the size of social support networks and participation in neighborhood organizations.

The research also suggests, however, that homebuyers who cannot afford to make needed repairs or who are dissatisfied with their neighborhoods do not experience the same positive effects of homeownership.

By identifying the factors associated with successfully buying a home, local homeownership counseling programs can assist their clients more effectively.

Chasing the American Dream provides a critical assessment of affordable homeownership policies and goals. Book contributors represent a variety of disciplinary perspectives and offer a thorough understanding of the economic, social, political, architectural and cultural effects of homeownership programs, as well as their history. Editors William M. Rohe and Harry L. Watson draw together the assessments in this book to prescribe a plan of action that lays out what must be done to make homeownership policy both effective and equitable.

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The UNC Center for Community Capital conducts research and policy analysis on ways to make financial services work better for more people and communities.


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