New Report: Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing

The National Association of Realtors recently published a research paper titled, “Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.”

Research has consistently shown the importance of the housing sector on the economy and the long-term social and financial benefits to individual homeowners. The economic benefits of the housing market and homeownership are immense and well documented. The housing sector directly accounted for approximately 14 percent of total economic activity in 2009. Household real estate holdings totaled $16.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2010. After subtracting mortgage liabilities, net real estate household equity totaled $6.3 trillion.

In addition to tangible financial benefits, homeownership brings substantial social benefits for families, communities, and the country as a whole. Because of these societal benefits, policy makers have promoted homeownership through a number of channels. Homeownership has been an essential element of the American Dream for decades and continues to be so even today.

The purpose of the paper is to review existing academic literature that documents the social benefits of homeownership. Furthermore, the paper examines not only the ownership of homes, but also the impact of stable housing–as opposed to transitory housing and homelessness—on social outcomes, looking specifically at the following outcome measures:

•Educational achievement;

•Civic participation;

•Health benefits;

•Crime;

•Public assistance; and

•Property maintenance and improvement.

Click here to read the paper in its entirety.

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