Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How to Navigate Your Local Housing Market

Housing is the first major need before having access to other supportive services to work and live in any community. Therefore, it is a public-private concern because every family needs shelter. A decent and adequate long-term shelter involves significant landed property investments making it a capital asset for improved living conditions. Every household invariably requires some communal assistance or leverage to meet housing need as capital asset. Early savings and loan associations in the United States evolved from this conceptual understanding and became a strong force through mortgage lending in the twentieth century. This system of housing finance has been reinforced by various governmental interventions in the financial market because it amounts to communally leveraging individual household to acquire housing as capital asset.

To solidify and further reinforce the system of housing finance Fannie Mae was established by the government in 1938. It became the giant player in the secondary mortgage market at the stock exchange. Before then, the Act of 1934 had established the Federal Housing Administration to take up homeowner mortgage insurance scheme to ensure continuity of the housing finance system during the great depression. The declared goal in the Housing Act of 1949 was for every American family to have a decent home in suitable living environment. Freddie Mac was established in 1970 as another giant player in the secondary mortgage market to avoid monopoly by Fannie Mae while both continue to enjoy implicit government backing. Thus, the housing finance systems to meet housing needs in the United States had long become a private-public concern.

However, nonprofit sector institutions are still struggling to identify their unique intermediary roles to complement public policy in their local housing markets in the United States. The American philosophy is that private property rights are derived from the principles of right to life so that every individual could have some measure of freedom and moral authority. That is, everyone deserves some private property rights or some rights to privacy. Although there is no income requirement to become a homeowner, commercial interests have tied income levels to home ownership while this is been reinforced by various forms of public interventions. There are various innovative arrangements that could be explored to lease, rent, or transition into home ownership irrespective of income level. This is the focus of Community Housing Market Support Network Inc (CHMSN Inc.). CHMSN Inc. is a nonprofit residential property management organization in Louisville Kentucky helping to develop or rehabilitate households as they transition into home ownership regardless of income levels or credit history. Approaches can be replicated in other cities.