|About the Book|
Housing policy not only aff ects all Americans quality of life, but has a direct impact on their fi nancial well being. About 70 percent of American households own their own homes, and for most, their homes represent the majority of their net worth.MoreHousing policy not only aff ects all Americans quality of life, but has a direct impact on their fi nancial well being. About 70 percent of American households own their own homes, and for most, their homes represent the majority of their net worth. Renters are aff ected by housing policy. Even the small minority of Americans who are homeless are aff ected by housing policies specifi cally targeted to low-income individuals.The governments increasing involvement in housing markets, fed by popular demand that government do something to address real problems of mortgage defaults and loans, provides good reason to take a new look at the public sector in housing markets. Crises in prime mortgage lending may lower the cost of housing, but the poor and homeless cannot benefi t because of increases in unemployment. Even the private market is heavily regulated. Government policies dictate whether people can build new housing on their land, what type of housing they can build, the terms allowed in rental contracts, and much more.This volume considers the eff ects of government housing policies and what can be done to make them work better. It shows that many problems are the result of government rules and regulations. Even in a time of foreclosures, the market can still do a crucial a job of allocating resources, just as it does in other markets. Consequently, the appropriate policy response may well be to signifi cantly reduce, not increase, government presence in housing markets. Housing America is a courageous and comprehensive eff ort to examine housing policies in the United States and to show how such policies aff ect the housing market.Randall G. Holcombe is research fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. He is author of twelve books and more than 100 articles published in academic and professional journals. His books include Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America, Public Policy and the Quality of Life, From Liberty to Democracy: Th e Transformation of American Government, and Entrepreneurship and Economic Progress.Benjamin W. Powell is research fellow at the Independent Institute and assistant professor of economics at Suff olk University. He is author of more than two dozen scholarly articles and editor of the book, Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Development.