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Showing posts from August, 2012

How do we look at housing policy? How should we?

When I received an invitation to a housing policy event, it inspired several thoughts.  First, I was glad to see housing getting some attention at all - I haven't heard either of the major presidential candidates mention housing in a while, and it is an important issue that affects every American in one way or another.  Then, I read the invitation closely and wished that the focus was broader. These discussions often focus on two things: the hit to the economy from the housing crisis and the loss of wealth to current homeowners.  These are two interesting and important questions, but "housing" is a much bigger topic.

Housing is the largest asset for many homeowners, but it is not just that: On the negative side of the ledger,    housing costs are often the biggest monthly expense for homeowners and renters of all ages.  Housing is much more complex than a simple calculation of expenditures compared to asset growth for homeowners, and a discussion that focuses on housing …