“Homeownership losing role as lynchpin of the American dream” – The Conversation

An article in Sunday’s LNP – Always Lancaster pointed out the “incredible demand” for affordable housing in Lancaster County.

house w picket fenceIs the dream of homeownership dying in America? White fence via http://www.shutterstock.com

“June is National Homeownership Month. Realtors, home builders, lenders and governmental officials have celebrated it since 2003, when former President George W Bush designated June a month to commemorate homeownership’s role in building wealth and creating strong and stable neighborhoods.

“But given the economic conditions many Americans continue to face as a result of the 2007-2009 recession, the housing industry has little reason to celebrate homeownership at the moment.

“Owning a home no longer plays the same role in the lives of Americans that it has in the past. And it is clear that many middle-income Americans cannot realistically aspire to become homeowners anytime soon.

“Defining financial success

“Until recently, Americans felt they had achieved financial success if they owned a home, could put their children through college, had secure and stable retirement income and had upward mobility. However, recent polls and surveys suggest that, for many Americans, homeownership is no longer a core component of the American Dream.

“A recent survey found that most Americans are now more concerned about having enough money to retire comfortably than about becoming a homeowner. Homeownership was the top indicator of financial success for only 11% of the adults who were surveyed by the American Institute of CPAs. More than twice as many (28%) felt that having enough money to retire comfortably was most important, and 23% put being able to give their children a debt-free college education at the top of the list.”

Continue reading this article at The Conversation.

Affordable housing shortages in any county impact the adjacency regions as well. The LNP – Always Lancaster article continues: “In 2013 the county planning commission and the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership commissioned a study showing a desperate need for rental units, and warning that demographic shifts will disrupt demand for large suburban homes.”

Another article cited the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership market study: “Ray D’Agostino, executive director of the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, said the issues in the Furman Center study were clearly identified locally in a 2013 study by the nationally renowned market analysts Zimmerman and Volk.”

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