Community Housing Market Support Network (CHMSN) Inc.


Social Change in the Housing Market

 Monthly rent or mortgage payment is the largest expense item in many families. Housing is the first need to consider before one moves to live and work in any community. It is a personal decision to invest or just rent as a consumer in that community. Public policy is to leverage every American family investing in landed property for a decent home. Normally, every family should be interested to invest in the community. However, rental homes are commonly confused with homeownership due to inconsistent public policy administration in the housing market. Americans have become less concerned about their landed property rights as citizens. Many families are oblivious or have lost aspiration to invest in landed properties for decent homes to improve their living conditions in various communities. Thus, there is the need for social change in the housing market to get every family involved as investors in their various communities.

Families, irrespective of sizes of their incomes, could collaborate to invest in their local housing marketplaces. Such collaboration should be a voluntary network of existing and prospective homeowners to ensure effective management of equitable values of their landed properties for mutual benefits. The approach would complement public policy in local housing marketplaces.  Although every family could be involved, it requires some knowledge of real estate management and the nonprofit sector to provide the social change leadership. Since rent or monthly mortgage payment is the largest expense item in many families, they could collaborate to invest through a community-based nonprofit real estate management organization. The purpose is to help one another become homeowners, mutually protect their home equities, and secure some measure of financial security. Such social entrepreneurial approach to investing could complement public policy in local housing marketplaces and resolve affordability issues.

Homeownership is the Great Equalizer

Homeownership is about landed property rights of citizens. Since private property right is about basic human right, housing needs of citizens were considered part of the universal human rights declaration of 1948. The Housing Act of 1949 reasonably envisaged that every American family would soon have access to a decent home in a suitable living environment. Local housing marketplaces were rationally evolving with families communally helping one another to have decent homes. However, financial engineering of the housing industry and public policy administration led to tying household income sizes with housing needs of families. To ensure social justice, every family deserves some financial leverage for homeownership irrespective of household income size. Otherwise, homeownership confused with rental homes become the engine for driving income inequality instead of the great equalizer.

Homes are the most valuable assets of many American families. Low-income families should not be excluded from homeownership to avoid exploitative practices in local housing marketplaces. With such exclusion, the poorest families are inadvertently restricted to undesirable environments with inadequate housing. Their homeownership dreams become morbid desires. They become perpetually dependent on public subsidies for standard living conditions. Eliminating the structural anomaly in the economy requires community-based nonprofit real estate management because landed property value is inextricably intertwined with household income. Such nonprofit organization is therefore needed to provide a network for collaboration of low-income households to meet their housing needs with equitable leveraging. The essence of such nonprofit network is to ensure equal accessibility of local-housing-marketplaces to low-income households while preserving equitable values of their landed properties. The nonprofit investment approach is inevitable to rectify the confusion of homeownership with rental homes in local housing marketplaces because residential landed property values have been tied to household income sizes. In fact, the rental housing market is for leasehold arrangements among households to meet a broad spectrum of housing needs. The mutually beneficial public policy is the communal leveraging of one another in the housing market.

Engaging Nonprofits for Social Justice in Local Housing Marketplaces Published

February Newsletter

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A housing unit is a capital asset in a fixed location. Therefore, housing every family is a social justice issue in a capitalist economy. Housing needs must also be met as essential capital assets to ensure social justice beyond the traditionally charitable assistance of helping one another to meet some essential needs for individual well-being. Although the public is not responsible to house every person, some public assistance or leverage is needed to meet individual housing needs in a decent home. Before financial engineering of the housing industry became more effective, families were used to helping one another to have homes. Leveraging one another through home mortgage loans has become the common practice in local housing marketplaces across the United States. Therefore, it must be public policy to ensure that every family has equitable access to local housing marketplaces to meet the essential needs. Conceptually, mortgage loans are invaluable communal strategies for the mutual benefits of leveraging one another to meet housing needs as capital resource assets. In practice, the housing finance system is helping families to improve their living conditions and build personal wealth. Although low-income households are inadvertently excluded from the communal strategy in public policy administration, every family deserves to be equitably leveraged to meet housing needs. The communal strategies are for mutual benefits. To ensure social justice, the mutual benefits should not be taken for granted. However, the mutual benefits are commonly misunderstood even in the academics as well as among policymakers.


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