US: OK, Not Everyone Needs to Own a Home

Plan to dissolve Fannie and Freddie marks a shift in philosophy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2011 12:17 PM CST
US: OK, Not Everyone Needs to Own a Home
In this Jan. 26, 2011 photo, a pending home sale sign is posted outside a home in Palo Alto, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The federal government is having a change of heart about what constitutes the American Dream. It long pushed the notion that people should own homes—one of the factors blamed for the housing mess—but a new proposal to dissolve Fannie and Freddie marks a pullback from that philosophy, reports the New York Times. The Treasury Department wants the government to play a much smaller role in the world of home financing, a shift that would raise the cost of mortgage loans and might even spell the end of the fixed 30-year loan.

As the Treasury Department report puts it: The government “must help to ensure that all Americans have access to quality housing that they can afford,” but "this does not mean our goal is for all Americans to be homeowners.” The report officially came out yesterday, offering Congress three options with varying degrees of severity. Exactly how big of an impact it has on potential homeowners depends on which one lawmakers choose. (Read more homeownership stories.)

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