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Impact of low-income homeownership

September 9, 2002

New book evaluates effects of homeownership on low-income neighborhoods

Inman News Features

A new book critically evaluates the benefits of low-income homeownership and draws hopeful conclusions that aim to inform and improve the nation's homeownership policies and practices.

The book, Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal, takes a close look at the rise of homeownership rates among low-income families and the policies that have aided this increase over the past decade. According to Bruce Katz, who wrote the book's forward, homeownership rates among low-income families have risen 98 percent over the past decade. Katz is a senior researcher with the Brooking Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy.

The book, which was co-published with the Joint Center for Housing Studies, gathers the observations of housing experts on low-income homeownership and its effects on households and communities and is divided into five chapters that focus on homeownership trends in the 1990s, overcoming borrower constraints, financial returns to low-income homeowners, low-income loan performance and the socioeconomic impact of homeownership.

Among the impacts of rising low-income homeownership, the book's authors, Nicolas P. Retsinas and Eric S. Belsky, also aim to answer questions such as the impact of homeownership on low-income neighborhoods, the differing benefits among neighborhoods, what the research gaps are and more.

Retsinas is director of Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies and a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Design and the Kennedy School of Government. He served as assistant secretary for housing and as federal housing commissioner at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Belsky is executive director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies and an adjunct lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School. He served as a research director for the bipartisan Millennial Housing Commission and is a specialist in housing finance, economics and policy.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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