Homeownership levels dropped to an 18-year low of 65 percent this week, impacting those most impacted by President Barack Obama’s stagnant economy–particularly minorities and first-time home buyers–according to Census figures.
As Fox News notes, that “rate, which hit a record 69.2 percent in 2004, has now fallen to its pre-housing bubble days nearly two decades ago.”
This “re-calibrated reality” is attributed to “jobs have been lost” from an economy that “has tanked.” In fact, the figures reveal that “first-time buyers and minorities” have been impacted the most by the poor economy.”
After he came into office amidst the housing crisis, Obama launched the “Home Affordable Modification Program,” and proclaimed “the foreclosure prevention program would throw 4 million American homeowners a badly needed lifeline.” It did not.
While the program “has helped 865,100 homeowners avoid foreclosures, 306,000 of those same homeowners found themselves back in exactly the same place they were pre-HAMP.”
To be fair, as Fox News acknowledges, some Obama administration programs–like the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which “allowed more than 2.2 million borrowers of Freddie and Fannie-backed loans to decrease their payments by refinancing at record low rates even if their homes had lost value”–have worked and been renewed.
In addition, President George W. Bush in 2002 “set a goal of allowing 5.5 million low-to-moderate-income and minority families to buy a home. As big banks rubber-stamped risky loans, government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought up more of them to meet the targets set,” which led the creation of a housing bubble, with the help from the monetary policies of Alan Greenspan’s Federal Reserve, that started to burst in 2006.
As analysts have indicated, though, the steep decline in home ownership is another sign of the deleterious effect the country’s stagnant economy is having on middle class Americans of all races.