From Robert Shiller in a NY Times piece headlined Mom, Apple Pie and Mortgages. Shiller asks:
What is the long-term justification for putting taxpayers on the line to subsidize homeownership? Is this nothing more than a sacred cow in American society — a political necessity because so many voters own homes and are mindful of their resale value?
Shiller argues that home ownership is part of the American culture, and that the reason for subsidizing housing is the “preservation of a sense of national identity”.
The best answer isn’t found in traditional economics but rather in American culture: a long-standing feeling that owning homes in healthy communities is connected to individual liberties that embody our national identity.
Shiller adds on renting:
We should rethink the idea of renting, which could be a viable option for many more Americans and needn’t endanger the traditional values of individual liberty and good citizenship.