After decades and decades of the ownership society, and all the trouble it exacted on our economy, the Obama administration is and has been pushing the premise that, "Our goal is not for every American to become a homeowner."
That latest pronouncement comes from prepared testimony of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner before the House Financial Services Committee this morning.
In a hearing about the future of housing finance, i.e. the wind down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Geithner re-outlined the plan to take government out of housing. Part of that plan includes providing more government assistance for rental housing.
The home ownership rate has fallen precipitously since the housing crash began, from over 69 percent in 2004 to now 66.5 percent. The bulk of that loss comes from low and middle income Americans who lost their homes to foreclosure and from younger Americans who can no longer qualify for a mortgage, thereby dropping out of the household formation equation.
It makes sense that an administration governing during the worst housing crash in memory would take a policy shift, especially given that, as Secretary Geithner told the House panel, "We did not do a good job in helping low income Americans get access to sustainable housing finance options; we left them with a system where it was easy for them to be taken advantage of."