IB-2003-G (February 2003)
Author: The Center for the American Dream
Two out of three American families own their own homes, and homeownership is truly the American dream. But it is more than just a dream: Homeownership is a key component of wealth production in this country.
Homes are more than just shelter. The equity people own in their homes can be put to work. People can borrow against that equity to put their children through college or start small businesses. “The single most important source of funds for new businesses in the United States is a mortgage on the entrepreneur’s house,” says economist Hernando DeSoto.
Unfortunately, some people have been left behind. While nearly three out of four white families own their own homes, only about 45 percent of black and Hispanic families own their homes. This lack of homeownership is not only an indicator of poverty, it is
an obstacle to getting out of poverty. …