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date: 16 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Since the nation’s founding, Americans have generally preferred owning property to renting. Government policy in the U.S. has long supported the goal of increasing homeownership through regulation and support of the financial system to strengthen credit for homeowners, tax subsidies for homeowners, direct subsidies for consumers and developers, local zoning laws, and tenant-landlord law that make renting less favorable. This chapter will briefly describe the history of these policy tools, explain how they work, and explore the strengths and weaknesses of homeownership in general and government policy to encourage Americans to buy rather than rent their homes.

Keywords: homeownership, zoning, tax breaks, rental housing, racial discrimination, redlining, land use, mortgage lending

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