The history of housing and mortgage finance in this country has always been focused in one direction. For at least two hundred years, the policy of the United States has always emphasized that, for the good of the nation, people should own their own homes.
This policy goes back to George Washington and his desire to open the west and populate it with farmers and homeowners. It was the key element in Abraham Lincoln's Homestead Act. It was furthered by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal which established an elaborate system to insure that mortgage funds would be available to fund single family home purchases. It was at the core of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program which built even more liberal lending programs that significantly eased the purchase of new housing by people at every income level.
The Millennial generation has reached the age where it is ready to continue the movement toward homeownership. Plus, despite many studies to the contrary over the past decade, this generation now appears to want to own homes.
But, U.S. government policy has changed. In 2010, the Obama Administration issued a joint policy statement written by the Treasury Department and HUD which de-emphasized homeownership in favor of multifamily or rental apartment living. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were ordered to make more funds available to the multifamily industry providing more funds to real estate developers who build rental units. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau wrote new Qualified Mortgage Rules that dramatically reduced the number of households who would be eligible for home loans.