Why Is Homeownership Especially Important for Low-Income Families?

  • Homeownership can help break the cycle of poverty by allowing families to accumulate wealth through home equity; for low-income families, housing wealth often equals total wealth [1]
  • Higher rates of homeownership correspond with increased household and neighborhood stability [2] and a reduction in violent crime in a neighborhood [3]
  • Compared to renters, children of homeowners are more likely to achieve higher levels of education and income, and to become homeowners themselves [4]

[1] Boehm, T., and Schlottmann, A. (2004). Wealth Accumulation and Homeownership: Evidence for Low-Income Households. US Department of Housing and Urban Development: Office of Policy Development and Research. Retrieved on January 18, 2012, from http://www.huduser.org/publications/pdf/wealthaccumulationandhomeownership.pdf

[2] Dietz, R. (2003). The Social Consequences of Homeownership. Ohio State University Department of Economics and Center for Urban and Regional Analysis. Retrieved on January 17, 2012, from http://web.mit.edu/~cwuz/Public/14.33/dietz%20social_consequences.PDF

[3] Green, R., and White, M. (1997). Measuring the Benefits of Homeowning: Effects on Children. Journal of Urban Economics, 41, 441-461. Retrieved on January 18, 2012, from http://weber.ucsd.edu/~miwhite/gw-jue-reprint.pdf

[4] Shlay, A. (2006). Low-Income Homeownership: American Dream or Delusion? Urban Studies, 43, 511-531. Citing Boehm, T., and Schlottmann, A. (1999) and (2002).

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