Real Estate Papers

Title

An Urban Slice of Apple Pie: Rethinking Homeownership in U.S. Cities

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2012

Publication Source

Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy

Volume

24

Issue

1

Start Page

187

Last Page

217

Abstract

The romantic notion of homeownership is deeply rooted in the American psyche. Homeownership as the "American Dream" borders on cliche. We proclaim that June is "National Home Ownership Month." However, it is worth asking whether this aspiration to own a home can or should be spatially differentiated. Beginning with the first Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) maps that infamously redlined inner-city neighborhoods, the push toward homeownership favored suburban locations. As GIs returned from World War II, suburban Levittown-type developments beckoned with the promise of a safe and tranquil escape from the tensions of the city. Homeownership rates in the suburbs typically far outstripped homeownership rates in the metropolitan cities of the United States. Other government policies built upon this suburban favoritism leaving city dwellers to wonder if they were, in fact, permitted to share in the same dream.

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Date Posted:11 December 2017